Chalk and Technology Talk..Creating Learning Landscapes
| The remarkable thing about having technology in the school and using media well is how it solves so many problems. There were no discipline problems in most of my classrooms. We did not have time. We were learning, searching, exploring, constructing, and evaluating.
This is the statement that made me think about more use of games in the classroom.
Ok here is where I started with games...
MECC had games and if you were a teacher in a MECC School, you could have the games. There were resources. Then I found that if the games were included in the work, that the children would work really, really hard to get their work done. You could say that kids love games and do not necessarily love workbooks.
From using the games, I learned to incorporate resources around the games as a part of the curriculum, could be field trips, video resources, books, museum pieces, or even creating a different classroom atmosphere with the media being central , with expected behaviors and rules. ( I stayed after school to allow children to use the software many days a week until they all learned it) .
From the George Lucas Educational Foundation, where I was being involved, I did learn to create a learning atmosphere that was inclusive of all students, not just the gifted and talented.. and I discovered that the children who could finesse the games were
sometimes very silent about their abilities.
This was what I saw in my classroom once I got it right...
"The eyes of the school children glisten with anticipation. Their fingers arch lightly over their computer terminals, waiting to tap out solutions to ever more difficult problems appearing on the screens before them. Any school teacher would be thrilled by such concentration and receptiveness. But these children are not in school; they're playing games in a video arcade."
" Today's schoolchildren have grown up immersed in a world of computers and other information technologies. They play video games; they listen to music on digital compact disks; they help their families program the computerized controls of videocassette players. These experiences have given children a different way of interacting with information compared with previous generations. Many familiar communications media-including television, movies, radio, newspapers, magazines, and books-are essentially linear. The users of those media have little if any control over the information they receive. They follow the flow of information from beginning to end along a path determined in advance by the providers of the information."
I knew when the bell rang and the kids did not leap for the door that I was cooking on all four burners... I knew when there were little faces peering into my room that we were doing the magic. I also knew when teachers started to complain that my kids were having too much fun.
But we worked hard and it was "hard fun."
There was the voyage of the MIMI. They wisely included games. What they did not anticipate was that a supervisor would put me on a time schedule to accomplish the Voyage of the Mimi 1. Actually, I had worked out a great schedule. The problem was that this administrator had never taught. She killed my interest and that of the kids by showing up to make sure we were on target.
( she didn't understand the pull of time in classrooms, the interruptions, the take outs, and the pullouts. I included everyone in the technology. Everyone in the class. Actually, the children who spoke a second language had their parents to write notes to the principal to be included( I asked them to do that) So we all used the technology. But the schedule got on my nerves and made it impossible to do.
When I went to the National Geographic , I was being involved in project based learning. Here is a section and a video to let you know the academic part of it. But you can never enjoy the hard fun we had in the classroom with the games, the various tasks we had to accomplish to learn and understand project based learning.
At first project based learning was a headache. i had to learn how to manage time, conferences, the various portfolios, get resources beyond the book, and integrate ... learning.
JASON and the New Argonauts
In person or via satellite, students engage in project-based learning through the exploits of Titanic explorer Bob Ballard.
There were games and simulations and reading and activities we had to understand. We loved learning in this way.
When the snowstorm came on the day of our download and visit to the National Geographic Headquarters , the kids had arranged mothers to escort them to the place and though there was no school, we did the Jason project and we , 4th and 5th graders were up to the task. We could answer the questions, we understood the technology and we had a grand time. Motivation will get kids working in many way.
At a dinner at the National Geographic I met
George Stuart and got the Voyage of the Mimi.. The Maya.I will tell you how this happened and why I went back to the Mimi.
It was the games and the activities and the geography. It was the interactivity and hands on minds on work.It was the fact that I had permission to do it with a grant. It was my schedule, my resources, and the help of the National Geographic .. and we did use standards, but we always did more than the standards.
|March 31st, 2005 @ 11:13AM
|Information not available
|[ profile ]