I used to organize all of my kids resources for them. I would spend time getting websites together and selecting reliable sources. I would provide them with a topic to “research” and then give them the sites to look through. Then? I would tell them to “make a PowerPoint” on their own, while some kids would read quietly and they’d take turns using the computer. Switching when I said to. I asked all the questions. I kept everyone quiet and orderly. I managed them. After they made a PowerPoint, I would load them all onto the class server and kids would take turns reading their slides to their classmates. Every. Single. Line.
Now? I teach different. It’s about kid’s thinking. Kids are asking, “What sources are most reliable? What do I need to know? How can I solve this?” I see kids evaluating websites, analyzing tools to use, developing collaboration skills as they discuss, compromise, and share learning throughout our room. I hear kids making choices, exploring topics, and building on each other’s questions. Kids are troubleshooting technology, putting photos into projects, sharing programs, and using a variety of resources, tools, and methods to achieve their goals.
Sometimes ‘different’ can be scary. It can seem like visiting an unfamiliar place and taking a risk that makes you feel completely out of your comfort zone. But, sometimes? Different leads to a new place that is so worth it.