Tag Archives: innovation

Play in Their World, Learn in Ours

28 Jul

“Play in Their World, Learn in Ours” was the theme for our Site Technology Specialist training last week. We started off the 2 days event by rotating through stations equipped with Wiis, Xboxes, PS3s, various web sites and games popular with students. We had about 15 minutes per station. I was introduced to several new games including Guitar Hero, Rockband, and World of Warcraft. I experimented with Wii Tennis, Wii Bowling, Webkins World, and iPods. I had heard of all of these, but had spent little time learning what they were, let alond playing them. It was eye opening, and now my list of games to rent/buy has increased. It really did help me to know what kids are up to.

A lot of discussion on how to incorporate some of these game systems into our classrooms occurred during the training. Of course the debate on how much should we encourage the game systems, iPods, cell phones, etc occurred as well.   I tried googling to find classrooms using the Wii, and found a few references, mostly to the same teacher.  I also ran across the following video which I had to pass along.

I am so impressed by the ingenuity of this video, and hope that others out there will find and share simple, cheap ways to have technology in the classroom.  So much money goes into technology in schools, and then it becomes outdated so quickly.  There are obviously ways to do things in a cheaper way- open source software and google docs seems to be the most common.  If you have heard of other ideas, please share them!

The Problem with Schools

9 Jun

I was stumbling along and found a blog post titled

Sucky Schools – How To Repair Our Education System

I read through the post and could not help but pass along a link to it. There are a ton of reasons why people THINK that schools aren’t what they should be, tons of reasons people KNOW they are bad, and tons of reasons the schools don’t change (at least not very fast). We still educate students as though we were preparing them to go to a factory during the day, and come home at night to a lovely two parent 2.1 child family, complete with picket fence and dog. We all know how far THAT is from reality. Yet we continue to keep teaching in the same way and wonder why the kids don’t know what they need to know, why they are bored, and why many think schools are failing.

All kinds of people are willing to point the fingers and criticize what is wrong with “the system” but solutions are few and far between. NCLB was supposed to change it all and whip schools into shape, that didn’t happen. These problems weren’t created over night, the solution won’t come easy either. It is up to every person in our society to really look at what is best for kids, even when that is not the easy way out. We need to support creativity and innovation in the classroom, we need to stop expecting cookie cutter results, we need to start preparing kids for the future instead of the past. We need to open our own minds to what is new, different, and often uncomfortable. We need to challenge the old ways, and replace them when we see they are no longer effect. We need to look at the big picture. Until every one can embrace this type of thought, we are going to continue to beat the proverbial dead horse. Too often we hide behind the scenes, pointing fingers and waiting for the educational fairy godmother to wave her wand and fix it. Not going to happen!