Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Kids Are Alright Part 2

A final thought on technology and your kiddo:
For those of us who occasionally use technology as a babysitter, I seem to remember my mother giving coloring books to me in the car, or Color-forms tagging along to restaurants. The idea that, as a parent, I don't have to engage you (child, you can engage yourself) isn't new. What's new is that we as parents are allowing the misunderstanding of how to bring this to our homes as reason to limit and avoid "playing with our kids with technology" altogether. Remember, you are their model-show them how interactive technology SHOULD be!

A few more apps to use together as a family!

What it is: This voice recording app allows your child to create a cartoon-like character, and then record their voice for the character (it's like creating a monologue with an avatar, rather than in real life).

Ideas for your family: This is a great way to practice reading aloud--your kids can record a page of their favorite book or poem and then have the Tellagami say it back to them. We also just had fun making the characters, making it say silly things (don't you worry, our character did say that it farted--my daughter's six, so this was outrageously funny to her).

What it is: A blank interactive white board that your child can draw, record their ideas, practice their math--the possibilities are endless

Ideas for your family: We use this more for "school work"--it's a great place for our kiddo to work out math problems, to share her ideas for a story, or even just draw and then record herself talking about her drawing. You can also take a picture of something and then have your child record their thoughts. We've done this hiking before--we've taken pictures of plants or animals, and then our kiddo has recorded her thoughts about what it was like to see these animals. This is a GREAT instructional tool to share with your child's teachers

Monday, July 22, 2013

It's Going to Be Messy

1. marked by confusion, disorder, or dirt
2. lacking neatness or precision: careless, slovenly
3. extremely unpleasant or trying

I think a catchphrase I hear all the time (and admittedly, use all the time) is that education and learning is really messy. In fact, we always warn teachers that when they bring in technology and devices (as well as authentic learning) that "it's going to be messy". 

When I look at the above definition though, I can see why recently, a district leader stood aghast, unable to rectify his definition of messy with mine, when I made my messy comment in a meeting. I think it all depends on your definition of messy...

When I say "it's going to get messy", I'm trying to say:

You're going to have to let go a little bit.
Your class will be loud. 
You'll struggle with feeling like you get anything done because your
constantly moving about, 

your principal will walk in to see that instead of orderly rows 
your students will be in all 
as they navigate learning on
maybe even spaceships...
embracing their

And there will be a group of kids around the SMART Board in the front of the room arguing about the solution to the problem as they figure it out together.

It will look careless to the unlearned observer.
It will look beautiful to you. 

Your kids are going to be extremely passionate about what they're doing which means it's gonna be hella-loud. (Sorry teacher next door)

your students are going to do things that are wrong online...
they might bully, 
they might cheat, 
they might even access things that you didn't have any idea could get through your schools filter...

you, will be constantly looking for teachable moments to help guide students in this new wild frontier,
will be more 
yet YOU
will be more 
fulfilled as a teacher than you ever thought possible 
(before you allowed this "mess" into your classroom)

because your KIDS are learning and growing and thriving in ways you never imagined.

So, go ahead...let it get a little messy:)