Like many districts technology in the classroom has been a hot topic of discussion. Teachers are clamoring for it, particularly those in situations like ours where technology integration in almost non-existent. Yes, we have computer labs – two actually – fine for projects and specific topics, but not very good for integration on a daily basis or for to take advantage of those teachable moments that occur each and every day.
While teachers clamour for technology integration there is some trepidation among some of our parents. As a parent it seems we are in a constant battle with screen time. How much is too much? How do we balance the need of technological literacy that our children will need to thrive and letting them have unstructured play time outside where they learn and grow in ways that cannot be replicated in a classroom or indoor environment. As a parent, I fight this all the time. As an educator I know there needs to be a balance. I believe there are parents that fear that technology integration means that we give a kid a tablet device and we tie them to a screen for the day and let the technology teach our students. That is far from the case.
I took the two videos below today at school. The first one has one of our Grade 2 teachers, Al Crossley, in the midst of a Science Lesson. He is teaching them about Observational Data and Data Collection using a Live Stream of a hawk’s nest they have been following. One of the kids asked where the dad was, so Al Googled it and found out that the dads spend up to 20 hours a day hunting for their family. Teachable moment indeed. This is the only classroom in our school with an Ipad and projector, but we will have more soon.
The second video shows our Kindergarten classes working hard on their new gardens. In this video kids are engaged in their gardens, creative play and structured play – all crucial elements of socialization. This is the type of learning that can never be replicated or replaced by technology. Just because we integrate technology does not mean the end of these types of activities, in fact they are essential to our student’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive development.
I just wish I would have brought my Ipad out before lunch when we had over 300 kids out for our daily run, but it’s tough to run and record at the same time 🙂