Friday, October 26, 2012

EdTech Lessons from a 6-year-old

This is Rylee. Rylee is my 6-year-old. She is in first grade at Northeast Hamilton.

Poor Rylee is the definition of a teacher's kid. I love her dearly for the extra hours she spends sitting at school. Today was one of those days, because even though her friends got to go home at 1:30 for an early dismissal, she was destined to sit in my room for 2 1/2 extra hours while I had PD and worked on grading. Of course I try to leave her things to do, usually a movie on my computer, but today I wanted to take it with me. So I left her my iPad and said "You can play penguin racer...".

Did she play the penguin game? Probably. But her innate 6-year-old curiosity kicked in and she came across an app called ShowMe. The Waverly-Shell Rock middle school kids showed me this app when we visited last year. They use it to show mastery of skills (like work through math problems) and submit it to their teacher. You can add pictures, record your voice, and draw. You can probably do other things, I've never actually used it.

With no instruction or guidance today, Rylee created a ShowMe that she titled "Wind". She started by drawing a picture, was unhappy with it, erased it, and then narrated a wistful sounding story about a windmill by inserting a picture that one of my students had gotten from his brother to use for his own project. She then proceeded to upload it to the internet. When I came back from our meeting I had received an email that my video had been uploaded and was ready to share. Thinking someone had hacked my account, this is what I found:

At what age do we lose that fearlessness? Nobody told her what to do or how to do it, she figured it out  herself. Granted, she has had her own iPad for over a year now, but this is the first time she had seen the app. She was not thrilled that I wanted to show it to people, but I explained to her that I know grown-ups who don't know how to do this and that I was just very proud of the work she had done.

For the 3rd time this month I come back to Miss Frizzle from TV's The Magic School Bus: "Take chances, make mistakes, and GET MESSY!" How do we challenge students AND educators to do what Rylee did? Who cares if it doesn't work out perfectly? She made a mistake, erased it, and moved on. How do we foster this in others? When did we become so hung up on right and wrong (correct and incorrect) that we started missing out on the experience, the experiment, and the learning process? I have a lot more questions than answers, but at least I'm thinking about them. Are you?

No comments:

Post a Comment