What if a book didn't just give you old facts, but gave you the tools to discover those ideas for yourself, and invent new ideas? What if, while reading a blog post, you could insert your own knowledge, challenge the author's assumptions, and build things the author never even thought of... all inside the blog post itself?
What if, in a world where we're asked to constantly consume knowledge, we construct knowledge?
Explorable Explanations is an attempt at answering some of those questions. We're a totally unorganized "movement" (if you can even call it that) of artists, programmers, and educators who make things & tools for active learning.
Lots of people are already using interactive explanations, to teach about the natural and social sciences...
...to explain mathematical and technical concepts...
...and even to help us understand the big, pressing issues.
Hopefully some of that gets you excited. Heck, maybe you'd even like to try making an interactive explanation yourself! If so...
I'll confess up front — because the concept is so new, there aren't many tools for making explorables. That's something for us to work on. Still, here's a few tools you can try using:
More important than how to make an explorable, is why to make an explorable. It's too easy to make some gimmicky thing that obscures its lesson behind flashy clicky stuff. So, before making an explorable, please read/watch some of these, to understand the core philosophies:
the earliest "explorable explanation" I could find, from 1996:
Exploring Emergence by Mitchel Resnick & Brian Silverman
also, read up on the educational/epistemological philosophies of
constructivism and constructionism, okies?
Explorable Explanations is, first and foremost, an experiment. None of us know anything, all of us are still figuring it out. That's exciting. And we'd love for you to join us, in playing and making and talking about these interactive things!
There's a lot to explore with Explorable Explanations.