Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pounce the Moment

Anyone who uses technology with their students knows that things can go awry. I've been thinking about 2 recent blog posts (@joe_bower & @TeachPaperless) that discuss how things can go not quite as planned.

@joe_bower recently posted how many of our students are truly not digital natives. My own experiences make me agree. While children enter our classroom doors with a variety of skills at a variety of levels, technology is an area where the gap of ability & knowledge is greatly visible. A few of them are adept at navigating the web and most of them do not know how to turn a computer on& off. This can be difficult as it can turn a seemingly quick web task into an involved process. It can be tempting to do it for them, become the 'sage on the stage' with a SMARTBoard lesson, or not use the equipment again. This becomes a great opportunity to teach the children how to request& receive assistance. (more on this in another post )

@TeachPaperless recently posted great tips for when service is limited / nonexistent. We had wireless issues everyday we plugged in. Tempting to shut down& do something else. This became an opportunity to teach perseverance. It can be easy for 8-year-olds to give up when they don't get immediate results. Another great giving & getting help opportunity, but they also learned a new skill - how to choose a connection.

By the third day of plugging-in difficulties you could see the drastic change in their abilities to request& receive help. You could also see the amount of patience had dramatically increased. Not to mention the problem- solving that was clearly happening (they were the ones who discovered the strongest available connection). As frustrating as problems can be, the payoff is seeing how their brains become engaged.
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