Mob Mentality? – No. Flash Mob? – No. Mentor Mob? – Yeeees!

Posted: July 18, 2012 in New Idears., Thought Fulls.

Today I got to take my kids and visit a “start up” company, which actually turned out to be a start up floor in a high rise in the city. There were about 12 or so start up companies all on this floor, filling up offices, sitting on a random variety of chairs, balls, even the floor – creating – some without shoes on, some without! I think it is funny, as teachers, technology or otherwise we almost forget how other professions work. People really do negotiate their contracts, “lunch”, and get time to think! It was groovy for me to see how MentorMob and its crew worked. Granted I am not a start up company guru but you know i have seen pictures of the Google Campus – duh.

Hanging out on the 25th floor, I got to share my ideas with MentorMob and my kids got to talk to some of the founders of the web app and ask questions and learn stuff. What? They were learning stuff – “but mom we were just going to meet your friends”. Yet they learned a bunch – through flow charts and trial & error and diagrams. They learned and talked about it later with me, teaching me what they learned. It was like hiding vegetables in their hamburgers! It was like shoving the cauliflower in their meatloaf – they had no idea! It is this authentic learning – involving technology or not – that really change and effect us as people and what we take with us on our adventures.

MentorMob works that way. It allows playlists of websites or files to be created and shared publicly or privately, and commented upon (you can work a pop quiz in there too!). It is a pretty slick web app and I know the original thought from the company is that it is to be used to “teach” but I want to use it as a way for kids to learn. My students will be the ones creating the playlists. They will need to chose websites which explain research topics or projects clearly: including website which they evaluated before including in their playlists, annotated pictures, videos and an explanation of their process. Curating, creating and learning by making a playlist! Cool beans! I feel bad for the poster board companies.

PS- My son was watching me write this and I asked him what he thought about what we did today.

Start from Timmy, don’t call me Timothy – “It seems like a really fun place, like how they write on the windows and like if you were in New York you could draw King Kong hanging off the Empire State Building in that was in the view. It was a fun, creative place with an idea to be found everywhere you go. Did you know that all types of technology that use the same thing and then the flow chart about our school day, that was really cool.”

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Comments
  1. You might have to trademark “hiding vegetables in their hamburgers.” All my favorite teachers in middle and high school “tricked” us into learning just like you describe. And we loved it!

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