For those of you that have kids you know exactly what the “why” game is and how it is played. Don’t you just love it when a kids asks why about 25 times within the same conversation. It’s because they are curious and don’t want just the facts. Sure they believe you and take your word for it, but they just want to know more. I’ve been thinking about this concept a lot lately and the implications for our classroom. I know as a parent the “why” game sometimes drives me nuts and I meet it with frustration, but the fact is that as a parent and an educator I should greet it with excitement and a desire to play the game. So what does this mean for our classrooms? The fact is that kids are going to play the “why” game with or without us. They want us to engage but if we don’t they have the means to find the answers. For example my 8-year-old now has an iPod touch and for several years has known how to Google her answers. She doesn’t really play the “why” game with me anymore because she knows how to access the information. She wants me to play, but doesn’t need me. As educators we should be thinking about how we can engage in that game with our students and be the facilitator. We now have a responsibility to spend more time teaching them to find the answers, validate the answers, communicate the answers, and collaborate with others on the answers. So let’s jump in and not lose a chance to play this age-old game.
Here is what it is all about. Connection
So this morning I finished the creation of a Book Blog for my daughter. With getting ready to move and the number of friends she has all over the southeast, I was looking for a way for her to stay connected to her friends and to put her new iPod touch to use for something other than Temple Run. 🙂 I am so excited about how this will play out. The blog includes about 12 little girls and boys from ages 7-9. I have simply asked them to post each time they read. Their post is to include a short summary as well as how the book made them feel and if they would recommend it to their friends. The kids can then comment on each others posts (pending my approval because little girls can get a little catty). This is also a great opportunity for me to teach them all about digital citizenship.
So set up is really easy and free! I used: http://kidblog.org. I then set up the free WordPress App on my daughters iPod Touch and she was rolling. Whether you are a parent, a teacher, or both try this out! It’s a great way for your kids to learn Web 2.0 skills, gain their own voice in writing, and interact in a collaborative environment.
This week I started a new job as the Assistant Superintendent for Academics in the Wake County Public School System. Wake County is the largest school system in NC and the 16th largest in the nation. Leaving Mooresville was without a doubt one of the most difficult decisions of my life. The work and success that I was able to be a part of there was absolutely incredible. I have quickly learned on day two of my new job, how that time in Mooresville prepared me so well for this new experience. Wake County is a great place that has a lot of really exciting things happening and an incredible list of opportunities for kids. The welcome here has been amazing. I am excited to see what the future holds here as we look to new solutions for the use of technology in the classroom. Stay tuned, that while I am not in a 1:1 district anymore, I am in a district where innovation is equally important.