Bringing Digital Media into the Classroom
My tech-savvy 20-year-old daughter pointed me toward this site, and I'm glad she did.
Is it only tech-savvy kids that have the attitude that's it's okay to play and fail? I'm finding that this same attitude serves me well in my teaching.
We educators can't just wing it and hope for the best. Most of the time, that way lies madness... but, if you are ready with Plan B, should things go terribly wrong, embracing a bit of semi-controlled chaos in your classroom can lead to some amazing outcomes for you and your students.
This happened to me just before spring break this year when I had the odd idea that my students should be spending some time doing free-form scientific inquiry by building marble runs.
This idea came about after we watched numerous "Rube Goldberg machine" videos on YouTube. They just couldn't seem to get enough of them. Their enthusiasm was palpable, and they need to BUILD!
See what happened in my classroom by going to YouTube, searching for my video page at tomstermiles51, and finding the "Before We Left For Spring Break" movie.
My feeling is that most of my colleagues are not comfortable unless everything in their classrooms is very controlled.
Another piece of recommended viewing would be to google TEDTalks: Shekar Kapur. He gives a very inspiring talk about how he embraces chaos in his work as a film director.
Playful chaos can work for you in the classroom, but have Plan B ready to go.