Learning Creative Learning: It’s not a MOOC, it’s a community

On Wednesday, October 18, a team from the Media Lab’s Lifelong Kindergarten group is launching a new, experimental online course: Learning Creative Learning. Free, open to anyone, and supported by the Learning Initiative at the Media Lab, the six-week course aims to create a global community of like-minded educators and learners. Unlike a traditional MOOC, the course emphasizes collaboration over instruction; the goal is to foster the same environment of creative learning that it’s teaching to participants.

While Learning Creative Learning is open for anyone to join, the focus is on education — on cultivating kids’ creativity in a learning environment. There are currently 12,000 people signed up, from more than 50 countries. The course is being led by Mitch Resnick, head of the Lifelong Kindergarten group, recent grad Carmelo Presicce, and learning resources developer Moran Tsur. They will lead the community in readings, hands-on activities, and videos, while providing the participants with opportunities to work on independent and collaborative projects.

Learning Creative Learning is for anyone who cares about kids, learning, and creativity,” says Resnick. “Whether you’re an educator searching for new ways to help your students learn, a volunteer running an afterschool program for kids, a school administrator implementing new educational initiatives, a designer creating new products or activities for kids, or simply someone who is curious about kids, learning, and creativity.”

The course materials are freely available, and include sections from Resnick’s book, Lifelong Kindergarten. While the course officially runs for six weekly sessions, the materials will remain accessible to participants afterward. Learning Creative Learning is not a course for credit; there’s no certificate and no graduation, but there’s also no end date — the instructors hope that participants will continue to come back to exchange ideas, share feedback with other learners and educators, and seek out opportunities for collaboration.

Learning Creative Learning is organized around the core themes of Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play — themes that recur throughout Resnick’s career, from his work with Seymour Papert to his group’s groundbreaking global coding and community platform, Scratch. The “Four P’s” will guide the participants’ activities: “Rather than delivering instruction to participants, we will provide participants with opportunities to work on projects, based on their passions, in collaboration with peers, in a playful spirit,” Resnick says.

“The ultimate goal of LCL is to cultivate an ongoing learning community, where people from around the world can meet one another and share ideas, strategies, and practical tips on how to support creative learning,” says Resnick.

Learning Creative Learning starts on October 18, but participants can join at any time. Sign up on the LCL website.