The other day, I saw the most incredible thing…. I watched as students were so entranced with what they were doing in their classroom, that they continued to create, to communicate and to share their stories well into their recess. They were having such “fun” learning that they didn’t want to stop. On more days that we care to admit, students are watching the clock waiting for the magic bell which will allow them to go outside and have “fun”. And yet on that day, in that classroom, recess was the last thing on their mind. The “fun” was happening in the classroom. Oh, to be able to “bottle” that!
Critics would say that they were engaged because they all had hand-held technologies and yet, it wasn’t the device, it was the fact that they had choice of their activity, they were creating something that appealed to them and they were sharing their creations. As I walked in the students all wanted to share, but not just with me, they were sharing with each other and I loved the authentic feedback that they were giving each other. It was one of the those days when all of the theory was being put into practice and it was magical.
What magical learning opportunities are you offering your students?
When was the last time that your students would rather continue learning than go outside?
James Bond has always been known for having the latest technologies at his fingertips. “In 21 films over four decades, the Bond movies have introduced many new technologies to the public”. Yet, in the latest installment of the Bond series, Skyfall, we find Bond saying, “And youth is no guarantee of innovation”. It’s almost as if our hero is struggling with the new world of technology and it’s link to terrorism. A world that he once dominated with lasers, two-way radios and cars with several cool gadgets. James challenges the audience to remember that “human intelligence” still has a place when fighting the bad guys. The entire plot revolves around the theme of “out with the old and in with the new”.
I started to reflect that regardless of the latest technologies, at the end of the day, we need humans as a part of the equation. As a school, we can fill our classrooms with the latest and greatest technologies and yet if the teacher isn’t prepared to learn how best to use it and if the students aren’t prepared to use the technology for creation, then it becomes a waste of resources. Technology needs to be partnered with human intelligence. James can hold the latest gun in his possession, but he needs to know when to pull the trigger. Students can be given hand held devices, but they must be able to decide when to use an application and when simply talking to a classmate might give them the same level of understanding.