And here’s to you, Sir Robinson

August 25, 2020

On the 21st of August, 2020, we lost author and educator, Sir Ken Robinson. One of the most extraordinary educators of our times. To celebrate his work which remains as relevant today as ever, we reflect on a few things he taught us about creativity, intelligence, and education.

Introducing Designing for Documentation & Assessment

July 20, 2020

We released the Beyond Rubrics toolkit in 2019 to build educators’ capacity for assessment and reflection while implementing hands-on making in their classrooms, makerspaces, and out-of-school time programs. Today we are releasing Designing for Documentation & Assessment, a series of activities to introduce educators to the principles and tools of the Beyond Rubrics toolkit.

A Showcase of Thoughts

March 5, 2020

“We organized a showcase of thoughts, of reflections, of the spirit of teamwork, of the grit to go ahead despite multiple failures and a celebration of mutual upliftment within teams.”

Our Learning Engineering Journey

January 7, 2020

The Playful Journey Lab, together with the MIT Integrated Learning Initiative (MITili), has a project which has been ramping up over the past semester, and which will make connections with many other research groups at MIT and beyond. It is called Project Blueprint, and it is meant to explore the practice of learning engineering and […]

Baking Oreos™ at home.

December 3, 2019

Post by Peter Kirschmann, Senior Learning Designer Last summer, I went to a book talk by Stella Parks, author of the cookbook BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts. Stella went to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and trained as a pastry chef. While writing her book, she used this specialized training to look closely at Oreos […]

Beyond Dashboards: The Journey thus Far

November 27, 2019

Post by Aditi Parekh, Assessment Designer and Researcher The Beyond Dashboards team has been abuzz for the last few weeks! But first, a little story to show us why we call ourselves that. We started by asking, what kind of a teacher-facing dashboard do we want to build to communicate insights from Shadowspect? Until, someone […]

Makerspaces Have Mundanity Too

November 8, 2019

While makerspaces are often seen as an exciting new place full of ideas and innovation, we forget that it needs to be supported by effective operations and management. In this post we speak more about these challenges and how to support makerspaces effectively.

Sneak peek into maker-based education in India’s silicon valley

October 22, 2019

The ATLs are spaces where young minds can give shape to their ideas, observe their surroundings and design solutions for problems around them. The question for educators and policy makers here is how to assess the efficacy of the initiative and how would the government know whether the program is sailing in the right direction?

Prototyping a Fellowship Program

October 17, 2019

This summer we welcomed our first cohort of Summer Journeyers! From graduate students to experienced teachers, the group brought a diverse set of backgrounds and interests to the lab. They worked collaboratively on projects directly connected to the lab’s work, and on their own independent projects.

Reimagining Teachers’ Assessment Literacy

September 25, 2019

What does teachers’ assessment literacy mean in the era of big data and AI? How can we create data tools that help educators become fluent and informed users of data and AI-driven suggestions? In the Playful Journey Lab, we’ll tackle those questions and much more — thanks to a new grant award from the NSF Cyberlearning program.

Game Re-re-redesign

September 23, 2019

With almost no experience in designing complex games, Prasanth set out on the journey of building a game that would simulate a water conflict and allow many students in a classroom to take on various roles, negotiate and understand the nuances of governance and policy making.

Designing Story-based Camps

September 20, 2019

Over this summer at the MIT Playful Journey Lab, Plub spent her time researching the topic of “girls in STEM” and designing a camp to be implemented in Bangkok, Thailand.

Microphones and Gum Drops

September 13, 2019

As a Summer Journeyer, Kate experimented with different methods of capturing audio data during collaborative problem solving activities among middle school students. Her goal was to figure out a way to capture what each student said while they worked with a small group of their peers to think through a complex problem.

Beyond Rubrics Journeys to Hong Kong

August 28, 2019

A group of students cranes their necks, watching a giant red balloon float up through the courtyard of a 10-story building. The balloon’s precious cargo: CubeSats—mini satellites designed and built by students to collect data from high up in the air through motion, temperature, and light sensors. This scene, part of a 2-week STEAM Camp [...]

Pyramids are Strange

August 6, 2019

Shout out to Somerville math students who playtested Shadowspect this summer! A class of brave geometry students, getting ready for their first year of high school, got a chance to experiment with Shadowspect as a playful tool for reviewing geometric thinking. After a brief 5 minute introduction to the game, students were let loose to [...]

Introducing the Beyond Rubrics Toolkit

June 19, 2019

Maker-centered learning in schools can potentially transform K-12 education by promoting process-oriented, student-driven learning. However, the question of how to implement assessment is one of the most critical challenges teachers and schools face when attempting to truly integrate making into their curriculum. Many maker classrooms use rubrics to assess final products and portfolios, but evidence […]

Playful Journey Launch!

March 1, 2019

It has been quite a journey getting to the point of launching this new lab. We all worked on a variety of projects out of other labs before finding the ways that those assessment, play, and technology projects could come together to impact the learning of future-ready skills. Because of this, we have a great […]