I am thinking about look before you leap in an educational context. There are many cases for trying lessons and material with your class that are tested, proven, and known. But these do not always work the best for the learners in the room, and it can limit the opportunities and potential for the class.
Over the lat 2 years I have been learning to leap, to let go of the fear of failure, fear of the unknown, and embrace the possibilities of a great adventure by leaping into the unknown.
One of my biggest jumps has been into Maker Education. I have been inspired by the maker movement and the impact that it has on students, and the great possibilities for real world learning and passions that will last a life time. To take part I was going to have to venture into a place where I was not the expert of all the material, where I would not have answers to all the questions. There were some nervous moments, but the excitement when something went well and got figured out more than made up for the unsure beginnings.
Students have loved jumping into maker projects, exploring, building, coding, sewing, and so much more. They have not been afraid of not knowing, they learn, ask, and solve questions as they arise. The look of determination and joy when they have accomplished something, even better if they get to explain it to others, and the best when they get to explain it to me, the Teacher, and teach me something I didn't know.
Leaping into the unknown can seem scary at the beginning, but knowing there are others jumping helps create a network of Teachers and Professionals who can help when some questions come up. Forming a network with like-minded people is a key to the success of new projects.
For my Maker Ed leap, Brilliant Labs has been essential to the success of the program. Brilliant Labs has been available to help secure funding for different projects, they have visited my school and classroom to check into see how we are doing. They are great at responding to email and Twitter to stay in contact, for ideas and problem solving.
It is a huge step to take a leap into something that is new, when all the details are not completely known, but knowing that you aren't jumping alone, makes it that much easier to do. Brilliant Labs can act as a parachute, opening and catching you if you feel you are falling too fast, and tucked nearby if you think all is going well.
Jeff, Sarah, and Kim make up the great Brilliant Labs team working in Nova Scotia. They are all great to talk to, have great ideas, and best of all are wonderfully supportive of classroom projects. They are a wealth of information and skills, and are always happy to share with you and your students.
So as you are looking things over this summer, planning and preparing for the next school year, take a look at Maker Ed, Makerspaces, and making in general. Don't be afraid of not knowing, be reassured in the fact that Brilliant Labs is there to help, and join me in taking the leap.