Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Kid Technology

I was reading Gary Stager's blog: Stager-to-Go when I came across a post and video of his about Generation YES.

I love the message that this video portrays. That is - the days of the jug and mug - we pour what we know theory of learning - is done. Never has it been more evident that kids can know more than their teacher.

This reminds me of a discussion I had with a teacher who, when exposed to the idea social networking with students (Twitter, Facebook, discussion forums) said that kids misbehave far too much to be trusted with such tools and that they would not stay 'on-task' or 'focus' enough. Essentially, this teacher believed that kids couldn't be trusted with using social networking in school - and that we shouldn't allow them to use it until they can prove to be trustworthy.

This line of thinking is concerning for me, to say the least. First of all, does anyone really believe that these kids will wait for our permission? I mean, they are already living social networking. Secondly, if kids are not provided the opportunity for guidance and modelling, how will they ever become 'better behaved'? And thirdly, do you have any idea the kind of resentment these kids will develop for educational dinosaurs who refuse to allow social networking into their lamenated lesson plans?

Seymour Papert on Generation YES and Kid Power from Gary Stager on Vimeo.


  1. I think so many teachers are resistant to modeling responsible use of social networking and cell phones, because they don't know how to be responsible with the technology themselves. It's amazing how many teachers I see texting under the table at staff meetings (and not just briefly), cell phones going off, and even teachers walking out to the hallway to actually take a call. Can you imagine if a student's phone went off in class, and instead of apologizing, they just walked out of the classroom, in the middle of a discussion, to take the call?

    Now to change the subject, my favorite quote from the video: "When you explore, you're interested. And when you're interested, you learn." Right on.

  2. Once this assintant teacher I guess (not sure exactly why they're there but they are) in my math class was saying how talking with each other can help you learn, and I said, "Well then why aren't we allowed to talk all the time?" and my math teacher said something like "That would work if the whole class would behave, but they wouldn't and they'd be talking about things that don't involve math, and so we can't do that."

    Going by how well they help each other if he actually got them interesting in what they were doing it would work, but when he's lecturing us about new rules to learn and we're taking notes of course people are going to talk about of boredom, and that's what he's basing his response on.


Follow by Email