With GREAT Power Comes GREAT ... RESPONSIBILITY!
You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.
~Clay P. Bedford
We began, on Tuesday, by activating our Google Mail accounts. THAT was magic in itself! The looks on their seven and eight year old faces were PRICELESS! They VIBRATED with the excitement of having their own personal email accounts. It was NOT a simple process. It was a HUGE learning curve for some students, while others embraced the challenge like PIT bulls … grabbing on and NOT letting go until they’d overcome, persevered and even helped a few of their more timid classmates to activate their accounts.
If THAT wasn’t enough, we began to explore how to PERSONALIZE our accounts by changing the themes. One student would discover something cool and would share their “discoveries” by teaching their peers on the Smart Board. It was like WILD fire. The enthusiasm was CONTAGIOUS.
But … even THIS paled in comparison to what was about to happen NEXT! I asked them to open an email I’d sent to the group earlier. They clicked on the link, “Hearing and Sound”. At the top of this Google Doc was a place to record their wonders. I asked them to watch their laptop screens while I typed on MY laptop.
“WHAT? How’d she DO that?!?” many students wondered, aloud. It was JUST like watching the chalk move mystically across the board in the movie Matilda. I asked a few others to begin to record their wonders. All of a sudden students could see three or FOUR people adding to the document all at the SAME time! They DOVE in, ALL eager to record their thoughts, continue their research and add their discoveries.
The BEST part of this experience, you ask? The learning … ANY time … ANY where. I promised that I would be available, if they were interested, to continue working on our document together after school. That evening, MANY of us CONTINUED to learn … each of us SNUG in our OWN homes … connected, engaged and collaborating with ENTHUSIASM … on the learning we had begun, earlier in the day, AT school!
Spiderman? You were RIGHT! With GREAT power comes GREAT responsibility. Give a young learner a little POWER, and the time to PLAY with a new learning tool, and they WILL rise above AND beyond the expectations … discovering DEEPER more PERSONALIZED meaning than the CURRICULUM had EVER intended. WHO knows … they MAY even teach YOU a thing or two through their wonders and discoveries!
Laurie Renton (@RentonL) is a lead learner, blessed to work with amazing Grade Threes at Battalion Park School. Their wonders and passion inspire her.