Group Members: Nicholas Roche
“In my vision, the child programs the computer and, in doing so, both acquires a sense of mastery over a piece of the most modern and powerful technology and establishes an intimate contact with some of the deepest ideas from science, and from mathematics, and from the art of intellectual model building”
“Papert, Seymour (1993), “Mindstorms, Children and Powerful Ideas”
In my naivety, I was excited when we first learned about this project. I trivialised the task and focussed my attention on other projects. The team was established and then became three which I initially found a bit disconcerting as I did not know what to expect and I am more conscious of being left out if there are three or more in the group.
The first observation of note is the fact that we were very kind and encouraging towards one another which under normal circumstances is very pleasant but it inhibits the immediacy of the task. A lot of time was spent by members on programming the robot to carry out trivial tasks. We had great fun with this initially! However, as time ticked by the frustration set in and panic as we felt undermined by the concrete and bewildered by the abstract. Effectively our RCX brick was not working properly we felt and therefore there reached a point where there was going to be no product at the end of all the tireless effort.
Sanity prevailed, we acquired a new kit and eureka we developed an innovative product that we were proud of.
The quote from Seymour Papert at the beginning of this reflection sums up my feelings on this project. I was completely humiliated and unexpectedly had to re-examine my learning skills. From a potential academic to a defeatist in one fell swoop. I don’t hate lego but it has been banned in my house temporarily for mother’s sanity.
Ultimately I learned that I assume a lot about my abilities as a learner which is complacent if I want to continue in education. I love teamwork and enjoyed working with the team. Am I as clever as a ten year old? I foolishly assumed so, but having experienced Mindstorms, I now realise that there will always be learning curves that will challenge.
Geraldine Rahel Nick Team Index