Technology Can Bring Us Together
It's been way too long since my last entry. Getting our new school year going and trying to get a better grasp of our new learning management systems and student management systems are challenges everybody faces. Then throw in an election and other distractions on top. I like to bring the focus back on technology and share the learning mindset.
It was very interesting the last two days in my classroom. We did the same lab both days with two different science classes each day. How some students laughed on the day of the election and yet other students doing the same on the day following. It has always been interesting and fun listening to the students talk about their version of state and national politics. This year had a little different flavor.
On election day some were louder than others in favor of what they thought was the candidate that was leading in the polls. Then today the results come in different than what they thought the day before. It was a bit disappointing listening to them take personal issue with each other on who was or wasn’t their candidate. Much of the content was what they had heard at home yet you have to give sixth graders a lot of credit, for many of them do their research and found their own facts.
The one thing that brought our focus where it needed to be was our speed lab in science. We've been learning to calculate speed, distance divided by time equals speed. We have done two different labs using the ramps, timers and photogates as well as other hands-on apparatus. This lab moved outside in front of our school. We would clock the passing cars and using the conversion factor to not only figure meters per second, but move it to miles per hour. The weather was near-perfect and all of those things that were dividing us earlier each day were gone, brought back together by the collaborative learning of this lab and technology.
Students collaborated, shared ideas and figured out better strategies to collect, calculate and produce their lab report. Not everyone did it the same way and not every lab group wanted to do it the same within their group. The most important part was that they talked, then found common ground and kept the learning moving via the platform of technology. It was actually pretty darn cool.
Either way, the results from yesterday’s election was going to have one group of people happy while leaving the other frustrated. That certainly came true. Using technology with this lab push those things aside and enabled us to see each other as we are, students and learners, working together in one classroom. Thank you technology and “Share the Learning”.
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