Why do we want to move our bodies in the classroom?
I posed this broad question to the educators who attended the MIT Media Lab’s Creative Learning Workshop, which the Scratch Team generously allowed Susan Klimczak and I to guest-host last month. As an elementary teacher, my big three reasons to get young students moving in class are the cognitive benefits of exercise, the success of full-body learning methods like Total Physical Response, and the importance of having fun, but every educator can incorporate physical activity in her classroom in different ways for different reasons.
We opened the workshop with this question because it inspired the Explode the Controller project we had come to present. When considering how to integrate more motion into a creative computing classroom, I focused on the efficient input devices we use to create and interact with Scratch projects, and saw an opportunity to introduce exercise and activity by changing these controllers. We’ve since built controllers that get users to rock, bounce, reach, and scramble while they Scratch.
Big thanks to everyone who came out, and to the Scratch Team for allowing us to use their space! Learn more about the exploded controllers on my project page, and check out participant’s games and animations in our studio.