Welcome to Darin DuVander's Digital Portfolio.

Please play and explore my page links and blogs below. Feel free to check it out and have fun, you aren't going to hurt anything. I intend to demonstrate the advances I have made through my studies in the Sonoma State Universities Masters program. My area of emphasis is Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning with a focus in Educational Technology. I have developed connections through my use of Sculpture and Tinkering, to promote a learning environment for my future students that is accessible to a wide range of learners and learning styles.

Darin's TINKERING Fundamentals

Here is a very short overview of my Tinkering Fundamentals
For the Full Document via Google Docs. Click Here

I have come to believe that it is extremely important to accommodate students’ needs in a way that puts curricular subject matter into a context that develops the interest necessary for students to actively engage in the subject matter and promotes deeper understanding of all curricular subjects as well as promotes the development of well rounded individuals capable of adapting to whatever life throws at them. I argue that tinkering in schools is an effective way to do this and follows what I have learned about Henry Jenkins theories of Participatory Culture. He describes this culture as one:
1. With relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement.
2. With strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations with others.
3. With some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices.
4. Where members believe that their contributions matter.
5. Where members feel some degree of social connection with one another (at the least they care what other people think about what they have created).  (Jenkins, H. (2006). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. The MacArthur Foundation Accessed 2011.)

Tinkering provides opportunity for a variety of subjects to present themselves in a context that the subject is applicable to. My tinkering project (that was based on a Dr. Suess contraption) demonstrates elements of music, art, mathematics, physics, chemistry, economics, and much more. By allowing students to be involved in the design and creation of such projects, students will be given knowledge beyond the textbook and be better prepared for the world of tomorrow. Academic subjects can be bridged through teacher/mentor discussion and trial and error. Chemistry might reveal itself in the form of welding and brazing and the possibility/ impossibility to formulate chemical bonds. Pulleys and wheels might demonstrate physics ratios and energy transfer. The simple tightening of a bolt allows for consideration of pressure. Mathematics may arise through geometric shapes, measurement, and calculations necessary for project development. Time counts and rhythm might develop from contraptions that make noise. Artistic aspects might be used in the design and decoration of the project. Essays and creative writing can be done based on the projects. Contraptions designed around historic devices opens opportunity for applicable discussions and study of historic events. Disassembling things allows for exploration of items available in everyday society. There are bountiful examples of how tinkering projects and hands-on activities address the academic subject matter that is the focus of our school systems. It is essential that we step away from the entirely academically focused class because it is limited to supporting the few students who actually learn in that type of environment. Tinkering is the means to bridge the gap between many different types of learners rather than primarily catering to the academically minded. 

For the full version of this paper please click the GoogleDocs. link below
Google Docs. Full Version

Here is an idea of my intentions as demonstrated by Gever Tulley's discussion of his Tinkering School.
                                                        Found at Ted.com