I have just finished browsing through the MacArthur Foundation site and the following words really struck a chord with me: ” …digital technologies are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize and participate…”
Four verbs that have a profound meaning and if utilized correctly and efficiently, could impact our school systems. I propose we view them not as separate entities, but mash them together, using the strengths of each to creatively engage our students. I propose that learning has evolved into an activity that takes place while we play, socialize and participate. New idea? Maybe not. However, the use of technology makes it possible to engage a variety of learners in dynamic settings in order to facilitate the learning process.
Our students play, our students socialize, they participate in activities offline and online that make sense to them. We need to harness this untapped field of motivation and find ways to transport it into our practice in the classroom. Reengaging a Lost Generation by Vicki Davis makes the valid point that students of today are bored. I wonder how many teachers are just as bored? Using technology to engage students where they are at “hanging around, messing about…and yes even geeking out…will lead us closer to the hearts and minds of our young people. Not to indoctrinate, but to connect!