Learn by Making with LEGOs: LEGOs and Experiential Learning

All educators do their best to strive to create the best learning environment for their students. They take the time to review new textbooks and other materials. Relevant examples, case studies, guest speakers, and real world projects are among the kinds of things taken into consideration by the best educators. They keep tabs on and stay up-to-date on the latest pedagogical techniques and breakthroughs. Experiential learning has taken on so much more import these days. The world is not as safe of a place as it used to be or as we thought it once was. Investment in ideals and political engagement are at an all time low. Teachers struggle to teach under sub-par conditions. Not only do they face low-paying salaries for doing an all-important job, but they also are confronted by dwindling resources and crumbling infrastructures as state legislatures continue to cut funding. Students are being failed all around by primary and secondary educational systems. In the face of all this, LEGO wants to help – this is why LEGO Education was established in 1980. LEGO saw the potential of its trademark interlocking blocks to make learning fun and to make learning stick. It has been documented that when lessons incorporate material and activities that are hands-on and enjoyed by students there is a boost in understanding, comprehension and retention of concepts. This is the aim of LEGO Education. We specialize in providing complete learning solutions that cover a variety of curriculum areas. These learning solutions have been developed to encourage children to use creative, problem solving and team building skills. LEGOs of course offer hours of fun, but it is clear that we are more than just bricks. Our specially designed hands-on and minds-on educational sets make students work for their fun because nothing worth learning is easy. These sets include activity packs, teacher guides, student worksheets, glossaries, programming and positive reinforcement tools. Much research has gone into the development of these curricular-relevant materials to make sure that they go the distance in aiding the success of every student who can take advantage of them. The hope of LEGO Education is to bolster the following reasons why experiential learning is effective.

Equality - Positive risk situations for testing out individual ideas and subsequent actions that naturally stem from “putting things out there.” The ability to work cooperatively depends on consideration of individual wants and needs as they jive or conflict with the wants and needs of others.

Developing relationships quickly - communication, collaboration and effort allow for the rapid development of relationships when we work to find solutions to new and unfamiliar challenges. People often get to know each other better in a single day under these conditions than over an entire year of seemingly normal working conditions.

Disequilibrium - People are creatures of habit, and unfamiliarity breeds disequilibrium or disorder. Oftentimes, prior experience cannot be relied upon under these conditions, especially when working in a group to resolve the dilemma. When faced with a particular challenge, the group has to cope with change and its disconcerting effects by organizing itself to deal with the challenge at hand.

Projective technique - The best project managers have the ability to project how invested they are in a project and they are also highly successful in motivating an equal amount of enthusiasm in others by organizing instability or disequilibrium. This technique usually produces incredibly profound and illuminating results. Team building is refined and the dynamics of interaction are boosted.

Decreased time cycle - When autonomy is given to a group, the space between what needs to be done for a project to be successful and its outcomes is truncated. As a result, the consequences of organizational decisions can be easily examined and improved. Time lag is a typical cause of increased time cycle.

Meta Learning - Experiential learning provides a seeming all-seeing window on the results of projections and simulations. Put in the proper context, these results shed light on teamwork, team building and team processing, the dynamics of leadership, communication, cooperative problem solving capabilities, and the management of change in the taciturn and inert corporate enclaves that have only bottom line and profit margin concerns.

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