Sunday, October 11, 2009


Post and artwork by Emery B. Class of 2010

The scope of work done in this class is life changing. The work done here can hardly be called work. It is exploration in to areas of the world that students actually find interesting, some for the first time. It is learning that motivates and excites learners. My work here in the lab has reached past the walls of the classroom. The graphic art I spent my first three classes working on expanded my artistic eye, trained me to work digitally in a more efficient way, and even changed some of my artistic tendencies when it comes to painting or pencil drawings. The study I'm doing this year on the philosophy of education has my mind spinning 24/7 because it's so relevant to the rest of my life. The work in this class is something I'm proud of because it was all done through self motivation.

My adventures in this lab started by chance. I thought I might like to work digitally as an artist instead of always on paper or canvas, so I took eDesign my freshman year. I loved it so much that I wanted to keep working with this type of art; Rlab provided that opportunity. For two rounds of the class I worked on graphic design, even landing a local job through Mr. Provost in designing. By the time my senior year rolled around I had started to realize what a godsend this class was. I could do anything and everything that interested me. I've been thinking a lot about education as a career so this year I' studying the philosophy of education. It's turning out to be a great study.

The assignments in this class are extremely thought provoking. They range from issues with technology in society to the growth of video games over the years. All assignments give students the chance to give their opinion on a subject, which is key. I've found that personally I am more motivated by a question that I can freely analyze rather than repeating information already given, and I've observed this motivation in my peers. Again, it's hard to consider the "work" in this class as work. It's fun, it's interesting, and it's relevant to the rest of our lives. You won't find those qualities in many other classes.

The idea of self-designed projects is probably the biggest thing for me in this class. Through this class I learned for the first time how to take my education in to my own hands, and I don't mean managing your own homework schedule. It allows students to invest themselves personally in what they're learning by choosing their own subject matter, gathering their own resources, and managing their own time. I found myself getting far more excited about this class than any other because it was my own. The motivation found through this class doesn't stop here, I learned to apply it to other courses I was taking as well.

I got a ton out of this class. Far more than I had expected. I learned more about digital art and am learning about education, but I also learned a lot about myself. I realized what drives me, and what doesn't. I found better ways to manage my time and better things to use it on. I got a new perspective on where I really want to go with my life, what I really think is important. For me those realizations would be worth sitting through 100 textbook-driven classes, but I'm glad that's not what it took; this is an experience far from that "normal" education we've become accustomed to.

I think this class was the next step in perspectives on learning. I'm already at a point in life and in education that has been changed because of this class. The principles stressed through this curriculum --freedom to explore, self-invested education, and learning to use the resources we're provided with these days-- are things that can and should be carried through the rest of our lives.

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