What’s a Low Level Opportunity?

As I was continuing my 2nd read of the Innovator’s Mindset this week, I came across a quote that connected with me in a different way. 

George wrote, “What risk might you take to change learning experiences?”

I have always felt like I need to provide opportunities for students to experience learning in many different ways. I’m not sure why this quote struck me differently, but it might have been the TED video by Fawn Qui on low level design opportunities. Low level opportunities are events where learners are exposed to something different, like paper circuits, coding a game, creating fabric art, etc. and these opportunities have a minimal cost for all involved. 

We need to take risks to change learning experiences and those risks start with low level opportunities in creativity. 

I’ve always wanted to bring different learning opportunities to my students and I feel like I have, but there is one place that I want to go with my students that will provide a great low level opportunity. Origami is an excellent design tool that can open many different doors. Origami has been a part of my classroom for a few years, but now I want to take it farther. I watched an interesting small documentary by Great Big Story on origami and was amazed.  I’ve seen beautiful creations before, but never thought of origami as being a low level opportunity to engineering. 

These low level opportunities are what we need to provide to our students each day. Paper and folding can bring so much creativity and potential, yet we are hesitant to use origami because it’s not standard driven.  I’d argue that almost any standard could be covered in origami, but we have to take risks to change our learning. A great site to use for beginning level origami is Creased.com that scaffolds many different folds for all learners. After watching the documentary, I also found a PBS Nova one on origami that is equally amazing. If we could provide this low level opportunity at an early age it can lead to much higher level possibilities. We need to take risks to change learning experiences and those risks start with low level opportunities in creativity. 

No matter what, I am committed to trying new things and origami is one method that I want to bring to my students. Nature is full of origami, think about how insects fold their wings, how leaves come out on trees, and how flowers come from such small buds. What risks will you take this week with low level opportunities for students?


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