This may be a sponsored post, but the content is relevant and worth not being dismissed.
Last week I wrote about the role of technology in our children's lives, and the responses that I had to this was fascinating. Most people who commented agreed that our children, those little beings that are barely out of nappies and only just making themselves truly comprehensible, are far more familiar with technology than we were, or even their older siblings were. A few commenters were concerned about children having a balance of play experiences, but that wasn't the point I was trying to make. I wanted to highlight that actually I feel not allowing children to explore and use technology as a tool will hinder them in their future schooling and careers. However, I'm biased because I'm an ICT co-ordinator who is passionate about the use of technology and allowing children to become more independent in their learning.
Education nowadays is completely different to anything most adults (without a child in the school system) can imagine. Schools nowadays, especially in Wales, are all about child-led learning and a teacher's job is to facilitate the child's ability to find out what they want to, and guide them into enquiring about their world if they're not sure how. Gone are the days of 'chalk and talk', but eleven years ago when I started teaching that was standard practise and it makes me shudder to think of children filling pages in their books because 'that's how they learn'. It's not; most children learn experientally.
In last week's RE lesson we used the school's newly purchased tablets. I placed a QR code on each table, with a tablet next to it. The children came in from assembly and were asked to sit at the tables straight away, click on an app and scan the code. It took them straight to a video about an influential Christian which they watched completely engrossed in the message. I drew the children together and we discussed the key points which I listed on the tablet connected to the interactive whiteboard. The children were then split into groups and set the task of researching another influential figure. Twenty minutes later they presented their findings to each other.
Having taught the same lesson two years ago, I can honestly say that those children learnt far more in last week's lesson because they were able to steer their own learning and answer their own questions.
Technology is a valueable tool for learning. Schools across the developed world are realising the importance of it to build the next generation of inquiring minds and independent learners.
This post has been sponsored by Samsung, but all thoughts are my own.