The Strength of Weak Ties

Everyone participates. Everyone contributes. Leveraging the power of digital networks to connect people, resources and ideas to drive creativity and innovation forward...and actually accomplish something!

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Future in our 3rd Graders

The highlight of the MACUL conference for me was when I was walking through the exhibit hall and was asked by a couple of third graders to take a look at what they were doing with technology. That's pretty hard to resist, so I went over to their display. The kids from Hudsonville took me through GarageBand, and showed me how they used GarageBand to produce their podcasts. They were flying around the interface which I got a huge kick out of-I think that when I was eight, my biggest accomplishment was tripling in the afternoon dodgeball game. They also showed me their claymation projects which were also pretty cool.

Eight years old. And podcasting already. What kinds of capabilities will these kids have in six years, when they are freshman in high school? And more importantly, what kinds of expectations will they have for their own learning when they are that age? That's just six years-ask yourself this-how much will teaching change in the next six years to accomodate such capacity. My bet-not much.

I asked one of the girls why they liked podcasting. She told me she liked telling the whole world about what they were learning in their classroom. OK, maybe coached, maybe not. But, when I asked both kids about how important computers and this "stuff" was to how they learned, they just looked at me, like they weren't sure how to respond. My initial impression was that they were telling me "Hey, stupid, didn't you just hear us talk about podcasting and claymation? Why are you asking that? Or, it might have been that the question had never occured to them, and that learning could actually take place without these tools....

Congratulations to the kids at Hudsonville for a job well done!


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