Thursday afternoon was unlike many afternoons in our classroom, as the students worked from 12:00-3:00, and the SMART Board, iPads, iPod Touches, Livescribe Pens, and laptops were not used once during this time. Why? For our activities on Thursday, technology was not the best option.
In Science, my Grade 1 students are learning about structures, and my Grade 2 students are learning about simple machines. The Grade 1’s completed five different structure activities, which challenged them to build a variety of different structures and helped them learn about things to consider when creating structures. For these activities, the students really needed to work with materials. They needed to build, and they needed to change their designs based on what they learned. The Grade 2’s have researched wheels, pulleys, levers, and inclined planes, and they applied what they learned by working together on various building activities. Working with real materials gave meaning to what the students have researched, and as they built their creations, I heard them using the terminology that they learned in class.
Yes, there are online activities that teach students about structures and simple machines, but when I looked at these options, I knew that using real materials was a better option. Even though technology was not at the forefront of Thursday afternoon’s activities, I still couldn’t make it through the day without using my digital camera and my new flip cam to record the learning that was taking place.
Below is a link to an Animoto Slideshow that highlights the different activities, as well as a variety of short video clips that show students reflecting on their learning. For documenting learning, technology really was the best option.
When have you chosen not to use technology in your classroom? Why did you make this choice? I would love to hear what you have to say!
No need to apologize at all, Aviva. Sometimes, there is no substitute for real gravity and all that a tactile moment can provide. It lets students work in yet another modality and that is good.
Aviva, tech is not the answer to every learning situation. We have to get down and get dirty with learning and to me that means hands on. Your kids were learning through doing which means making real connections. I don’t think you could substitute any form of technology and have the same type of result. As I have said in the past we need more teachers like you who are truly sensitive to how their children learn.
Thanks Doug and JoAnn! When technology is the right tool, it’s great to use, but in this case, it definitely wasn’t the right tool. I’m glad that I didn’t try to make it so, as I don’t think that I would have had the same results. I appreciate both of your comments!