Happy New Year friends! On this beautiful New Year’s day, I wanted to reflect upon some lessons from 2021 and learning opportunities for 2022. In 2022, we will continue to focus on ideas that help students love learning through exploration, making, and tinkering. As parents, we dream about helping our kids become the best version of themselves. It’s been fun to see how “maker education” and project based learning at home has encouraged growth in families.
Lessons from 2021 and learning at home
At this point, I would like to give a huge shout out to our teachers and professors who have served through this pandemic. We are so very thankful for the ways that you’ve invested in our kids and helped them to grow. They have helped our family adapt to learning from home for a significant portion of the year. Our kids did return to a traditional public school setting in the fall. We’re thankful for all the efforts of the staff and teachers to mitigate the concerns of COVID while fostering a positive learning environment.
At the Rosario home, I have tried to pay attention to hot spots of motivation and curiosity. If the kids start tinkering on the piano trying to figure out the Avenger’s theme, I’ve tried to make myself more available to encourage their musical exploration. My kids still enjoy creating their own music with Bandlab. We’ve also encouraged a good amount of traditional art with the kids. With the kid’s interest in Pokemon and Anime, they’ve become curious about drawing in this style. It’s been amazing to see the lessons they’ve learned through various drawing teachers on YouTube. Given that dad works as a software developer, it’s wonderful to see the kids engage in coding and building software. In future blog posts, we look forward to unpacking some of our more fruitful Scratch and Unity 3d tools. If your middle schooler or teen shows interest in video game development, the team at Unity 3D have continued to evolve their learning platform to be relevant to student creators. As a big kid myself, I’m still glad that our family enjoys Lego building together.
Trends to watch for 2022?
- Space and wonder: I personally believe our SpaceX and NASA programs give our kids a sense of vision and potential. Over the Christmas break, the kids and I took in documentaries from NOVA on the Mars Perseverance rover and related missions. It’s so amazing the progress of our space programs in the past year. I do feel that the exploration of our universe and space travel helps keep a sense of awe and wonder about our world. It’s good the meditate upon how wonderfully complex and beautiful creation is.
Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality: In 2022, I look forward to exploring apps, trends, and tools that empower students to create XR experiences. I still continue to love the XR platform used for teaching and learning. It’s been fun to see the kids explore the International Space station in VR. In yet another experience, the Obama family unpacks the history of the white house in VR. I love that platforms like CoSpaces have started to empower young makers to build VR experiences with block coding. ( cospaces.io/edu/ )
Robots: My oldest son has expressed tons of interest in deep sea exploration. I have a feeling I’m going to start learning about playful games and simulation experiences to help him explore this. He’s found a very cool game called Subnautica that explores some of these ideas. In Subnautica, you are trying to survive an alien deep sea world using your resourcefulness and exploration skills. I do think that sea exploration using robots is really interesting. We look forward to explore trends and tools related to DIY IoT and robotics.
We are very thankful for our readers. Please know we pray for the very best for you and your family in 2022! If you have some cool projects that you’re doing with your kids, please drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you.