Sunday, February 21, 2016

Failure & The Joy That Can Come From It

It's become common practice in our classroom to check in on our 3D printing jobs within the first 10-15 of printing. If things are going to go bad, it usually happens within that time frame.

When things aren't going as planned, we cancel the print job and then analyze what went wrong and when it happened (with respect to our design). These are our failures, that is what we call them. 

It's never easy to 'fail' but we always learn something new and share our learning with everyone so we can try and avoid the same problems that led to the fail. I have been enjoying the failures as much as the successes. When I see a flaw in a design I will talk to the student about it and ask whether they see what I am referring to. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't. Sometimes they make changes to their design, and sometimes they don't. Some of them need to fail in order to learn and some of them do what they can to avoid it.

Nevertheless, the learning (creativity, collaboration, communication) is great!

Here are some examples of our recent failures:

The failures above have led to the successes below:

I'm thankful for the prompting I recieved to write this post. My students recently asked me if I had shared their failures with all of you. One of them asked if I had written about the creations that didn't work out. They also made a comment about all the photos I have taken of their failures. Apparently I am as excited to photograph the failures as I am of the successes!

I do believe it is important to reflect on and share the good and bad moments of any learning journey. If we frame success around the process of learning and the growth that comes from it, then we are sure to feel a sense of success and accomplishment no matter what the final outcome is. This is something that I am constantly working on incorporating in my life and that of my students lives. It is not an easy task, but it certainly is a worthwhile one.

The students are still working on writing their fictional narratives so stay tuned for a blog post about what they ended up creating and how it helped them with their writing!

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