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SXSWedu 2013

Building Learning Community with Purpose and Joy

Emily and Justin are high-school Latin teachers with different, but complementary approaches to creating joyful, meaningful, exciting learning communities in place of the 20th-century industrial model classroom, and Gerol is Coordinator of Academic Technology at a liberal-arts college. Emily will demonstrate Operation LAPIS and Practomime, a game-based approach to learning languages, science, and other subjects. Justin will demonstrate the Tres Columnae system of collaborative content creation – imagine the maker movement applied to language learning. Gerol will demonstrate game-based approaches to philosophy and other humanities-based subjects. Participants will learn a lot of Latin AND some philosophy, and they will also see ways to take both game-based and maker-based learning beyond the individual classroom. We are working on a design for a passion-based, game-like, maker-oriented school and plan to open the first of many in fall 2013.

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  1. People say that the education system is "broken," but what if it is functioning exactly as it was designed – to produce workers for 20th-century factories? How can we change the system (or build a new system) to help learners prepare for a very different economy?
  2. How can game-design principles and maker culture work together to create new models of learning? And can these principles be applied to all kinds of academic subjects? Can they even make subjects like Latin and philosophy compelling, engaging, joyful, and utterly relevant for 21st-century learners?
  3. What if schools felt less like factories and warehouses, and more like "a joyful learning community building something meaningful together?" How would schools, classrooms, teachers, curricula, and school systems themselves have to change to become like that?



Justin Schwamm, Founder, Tres Columnae Project

Meta Information:

  • Event: EDU
  • Format: Panel Discussion
  • Track: Gaming, Learning and Development
  • Level: Intermediate
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