When I think of preschoolers, I do not think of using technology to keep them occupied and as a teaching tool. I do not think of using technology at all in fact. I think of reading to them, laying out the blocks, coloring pages and paint stations. I do not think of using technology... because that is not something that was really used all too often as a means of learning.
My, oh my, how times have changed.
Awhile back, I was talking to a friend about all of the massive changes that have been happening in the classroom over the past even couple of years, and we agreed that, of the changes, the "biggest" one that shows a distinct difference in how education is being approached in the classrooms of "Millennials" compared to classrooms of the "older" generations has come with how electronic technology has become just another normal method in teaching students. My friend went on to talk about how his 4 year old sister was given "Ipad time" on certain days, instead of art or some other type of elective.
I was dumbfounded.
My first thought when I heard about this was...I thought playing on the computer was restricted to outside school walls, and was seen as more of a "privilege" than a form of learning. That is certainly not the case
Educators have found incredible ways to use technology in the classroom, regardless of age. Apps that include ways for students to develop skills in learning to count, read, write, listen (the list goes on and on)
are constantly being created. And I'm learning something...
Technology isn't really all that bad for kids. Technology can mean learning. Learning in a "new-fangled" manner, but learning all the same. That is not a bad thing.
I love books, crafts, and anything of the sort.
I do not love electronic technology. I am learning to understand why it isn't such an awful thing for kids.
We have so many digital natives running around. Students are being launched into classrooms where "Ipad" time is seen as the norm, and they know nothing different than this type of learning. To them, technology is just a part of what they are taught in school. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around this truth, but I'm trying to learn how to adjust and prepare my mind for "jumping on board" with this approach to educating my future classroom, full of brains and imaginations that are ready to do all they can to learn; regardless of the method or concept.
My, oh my. How have times changed? Not as much as I once thought. We're still teaching our students the same basics (counting, reading, writing...) but now, we're finding different methods. We're still teaching.
Students are still learning.
Isn't that the point of education?
Let's take a minute to remember what our friend, John Dewey, once said...
"If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow."
Time to log off this (not so awful) mode of learning and teaching. :)
Until next time,