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Friday, March 02, 2007

Gadgets, Games and Gizmos: Create Your Own Lego Model

So there has been much talk about DIY learning in the blogosphere lately. I have even entered another salvo over at TrainingDay Blog so you can check it out. It is called Design of Learning.

However, the entire DIY got me thinking and exploring and coincidently, I am reading Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything and came across the section about DIY Legos and so I went to the web site to check it out. Awesome!

First some background, as I kid, I grew up with the large Lego kit where I had to use my imagination for everything, no pre-set houses or cars or castles just me and 150 non-descript Lego pieces. I wasn't a master builder by any stretch but I did have fun.

When my younger brother, younger by a number of years, got into Legos. He got all the cool kits. Star Wars ships, houses, firetrucks.

Now Lego has combined the two. You can go to the Lego Factory, download software to design your own unique Lego model and then upload the model and order a custom kit to build whatever model you designed. The kit will come with all the pieces you need to design your own model. Did I say Awesome! And the cherry on top is that you can even design your own custom box. Awesome.

Here is what Lego says "Design your LEGO model, share your design with other LEGO fans and purchase the exact pieces to build it!"

Now there are certain parameters you need to follow to make sure you can order your kit and that it can actually be built. To me this is a great model for DIY learning. You get a certain number of designed learning assets that you can connect to build your own learning. Those assets are designed by instructional designers to be complete and structurally sound. Like the fundamental Legos you order. However, you can combine those pieces however you would like. You learn from a collection of assets built according to certain rules. It makes sense to me.

Then, to futher build community. Lego allows you to upload your image and others can then purchase the kit as well. So whenever I create my awesome model, you can select it and order the kit and build the model. Now imagine doing the same thing with an online course or wiki where a learner sequences content, adds his or her own comments and then others can choose the best learning sequence or course design for their own DIY learning.

What a great way to build a learning community. Lego Factory, a great model in so many ways. (oh, yeah, that pun was intended.)

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