Wednesday, 4 March 2015

How to Classroom Blog With Students

More and more teachers are creating classroom blogs with students, and it's not hard to see why. Blogging is a great way to engage kids in writing. Here in Alberta, where we are still giving students standardized tests on creative writing, I would much prefer to see my students write a blog entry than the current procedure of writing a newspaper article -- it's far more relevant to their daily experience, and kids of any age enjoy the idea of writing for publication.

That said, blogging with kids does present its own unique challenges. Here are some -- and how to overcome them!

1. What program should I use for blogging?

You really can't go wrong with Kidblog. It has several nice features that make it particularly appealing to a classroom setting, such as the ability to set comments so that the teacher has to approve them, or the ability to limit your classroom privacy settings so that only people who are signed in can access your students' blogs. You can also turn these privacy settings off, leading to a flexible and convenient setup.

If for some reason you don't want to use Kidblog, I also use Blogger to make a classroom blog. This is a whole class blog, and my students all use the same google email address to sign into it. I use this for a whole class journal. If you have Google for education, or your students each have their own gmail address, you could use Blogger for individual blogs as well. Here is a link to our class reflection blog, and if you would like to connect with us, come visit us on Kidblog as well -- students would love to hear from you!

2. How can I justify spending class time blogging when we should be working on creative writing or essay writing?

You can write pretty much anything on a blog that you would write in a notebook -- it's just in a public forum, which can be a very powerful incentive for many students. They can comment on one another's work, giving you an excellent forum for group editing.

3. What if students use blogging as an excuse to write in text talk or the like?

Yup, that happens. It particularly happens in grade 6. I try to circumvent it by spending some time looking at high quality blogs written by other young writers, but I did hit a point where I just had to say, all right: if your blog post is not at least ten sentences, and that means that it contains capitals and periods, I will delete it. I'm not having students publish blogs that simply say "ya i lov hockey its so grate go flames."

On the other hand, if parents are accessing those blogs, it can give them a very quick and ready picture of what their students are writing in class!

4. What is the value of investing time in blogging?

There are a lot of things that make blogging valuable. Just a few include:

  • The opportunity to read one another's writing and comment on it
  • A ready audience for your writing
  • A more engaging form of writing (hand them technology and they're suddenly on board!)
  • A place to collect a writing portfolio readily and easily
  • A way to continue writing throughout their school careers
  • Easy access to student writing for parents and community members
Really, the list goes on and on. And blogging is quite easy: Kidblog takes minutes to set up, and is free. So if you've never tried blogging with your students, why not give it a shot now?

Question of the Day:
What makes you read a teaching blog?

For me, this is all about utility. I love humorous stories and I easily get sucked into jokes and irony, but if I'm going to keep checking a blog regularly, it has to be because it provides me with practical and interesting ideas to use in my classroom.

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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Three Ways We're Teaching Wrong (As Illustrated by Wasteland 2)

It's been a few weeks for this blog -- mostly because I had a raging sinus infection. But while that wasn't much fun, it did get me playing Wasteland 2, predecessor of my all time favorite games (well, next to Portal): the Fallout series.

And it's hard. I'm assured it gets easier later on, but the Ag Center is KILLING me (literally. Over and over and over again). What I'm telling you is, I kind of suck at this game. But I'm still playing it, and that's the thing -- as I've said over and over, failure doesn't have to be traumatic or terrible. It can be a lure.

It can also just mean you're really bad at video games, but we won't talk about that. Instead, we'll talk about what I've realized through this frustrating experience -- three things that school doesn't do very well. The start of this game might be tricky, but that's nothing compared to what I know some students experience when dealing with math, reading, or writing.

And that, incidentally, is why it's so important for teachers to do things we're bad at: so we don't forget the experience of struggling. At any rate, here are three things this game has reminded me that schools should be doing.

1. Allowing breaks when needed

Yeah, we all know kids need breaks. We give them recess, and if they've been sitting too long we get them up and moving, and if the whole class seems sluggish we find something else to do. But that's not the same as each kid getting a break when they need it. If halfway through math the problem has built up into something insurmountable and frustrating, forcing through it will probably not yield the results we're looking for. This is a tricky situation because there are, of course, some kids who would be happy to NEVER do math, and will take a permanent break. But letting a kid go get a drink or use the washroom -- 15 times, if necessary -- can give them the mental space to adjust.

2. Not forcing breaks when not needed

School is chunked into artificial segments. Often I'll have students just getting absorbed in a game, project, or activity when I have to say, "All right everyone, time to pack up and move on to science." I've often thought that I'd love to have students arrive in the morning, and on the board I have a list of tasks that must be accomplished today (for example: page 161 in math, listen to Ms Swark talk about the Iroquois confederacy, watch this video, work on this project) and have kids take on each as they see fit, in their own time. This is trickier if you teach in a school where students frequently switch classes. But I still may try it one day.

3. There have to be helps available

Games are really good about giving you tutorials and helps, but unfortunately, I have a bizarre mind, and the things I need help with aren't what usually pop up. Action points, I can figure out. Friendly fire? Yeah, I clued into that when I decimated half my team. But sometimes some silly little thing trips me up. It's usually something that would be intuitive to most people and just isn't to me. That's when -- like everyone else -- I hit google, and almost every time, someone else has had the same question, and some helpful person has answered it. I get the answers I need, when I need them. Our students get instruction before they need it, and then help from a teacher when we're able to get to them. BYOD helps with this to some degree -- if they have the skills to use it -- but so does a "cheat sheet," a helper, a partner, or just the freedom to wander around and interact with one another.

There's potential in all of this, of course, for students to abuse it. But there's potential for abuse in giving them a pencil and paper -- they might write notes, or make airplanes, or draw something inappropriate. We need to weigh risks against benefits and see where we stand!

Question of the Day:
What do you do when you're frustrated with something you're learning?

In honesty... I rage quit. But I'm usually back in a couple of hours, because this game/crochet stitch/problem is NOT going to beat me!!!

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Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Is Technology Making us Ruder?

Lately I've had a number of conversations with people about how and when we use technology, and I reached a surprising conclusion. A coworker asked when we should begin teaching kids about cell phone etiquette, and I realized that there's a problem: we don't agree on what that etiquette looks like. Sure, there are a few basic agreed-upon mannerisms -- don't answer your phone at the movie theatre, or blast your iPad when you're out for dinner -- but overall, there's just no agreement. Among my friends, I have people who..

  • think it's incredibly rude to touch an electronic device when you're in any social situation
  • think it's okay to quickly check text messages in social situations, but not to focus on your phone or device to the exclusion of socialization
  • think it's fine to multitask between socializing with people who are physically present and being on your phone
  • think it's fine to use your phone when and how you please, even if that means you sit in a corner at a party texting or surfing the internet
That's just in my small social circle. So given that situation, how on earth are we supposed to teach technology etiquette to kids? We don't agree on it ourselves.

Starting With The Basics

That said, I think there are a few basic rules that everyone (for the most part) can agree on when it comes to manners and technology. Chief among them: 

If what you are doing is disturbing another person, then stop it.

There are obvious examples of this. A coworker mentioned someone who answered his phone in the middle of a funeral. Disturbing to people around you? Check, check, and check. Stop it.

The woman who spends the movie texting her friend while the people around her who paid $20 to see a movie grumble under their breaths. Rude? You bet.

The parent who doesn't believe in headphones and plops an iPad blasting Madagascar in front of her three year old two feet away from me at a restaurant. Annoying? And how. 

The person (illegally) texting while driving who gets into an accident? Buddy, your technology obsession isn't just rude, it's downright dangerous.

So there are at least some basic rules of technology etiquette we can mostly agree on. That's a good place to start. I think we can carry that a step further, too. 

Among my friends, pulling out your cell phone to check a text message mid conversation is generally not considered rude. It's not disturbing anyone, so it's not a big deal. But I have other friends who do think it's rude, and it would disturb them if I did it. Therefore, I make an effort not to do it with those friends. Ideally, those friends would also make an effort to understand that I use technology in a different way than they do -- that to me, it's almost an extension of my person, rather than an external tool. If we both did that, you'd have me trying to be considerate of my friends who find excessive technology use disturbing, and my friends who find excessive technology use disturbing trying to be considerate of the fact that technology is natural to me, and an effective way of managing anxiety. It would be hard for us to not find some kind of middle ground.

In the end, this is what we should be teaching our kids: consideration and courtesy. Don't judge someone because they use technology differently from you. Don't insist that everyone looks at the world the way you do. And try to be respectful of others' opinions and differences. If we're going to teach cell phone and technology etiquette, I think that's as good a place as any to start.

Question of the Day:
Would you attend a party where you were told to leave your technology at the door?

A friend of mine posted a link to this advice column suggesting that it's "a breath of fresh air" to ask your guests to leave their technology at the door. The consensus among my friends was that it was not a breath of fresh air, it was rude and presumptuous, especially if you're blindsiding your guests with this request. I might consider attending a party if a friend did this and told me in advance, but I would be pretty angry if this was an unexpected request at someone's house, and would probably refuse to participate. Devices and cell phones are very personal now -- I'm not okay with leaving mine lying around.

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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The Top Five Articles Making the Games Based Learning Circuit

This week, I'm too busy reading to write -- every time I turn around, I'm swamped by another awesome article, idea, or thought provoking piece. So for this week I'm sharing other people's words: here's a round up of the top five articles making the social media rounds.

1. No Tech Board Games That Teach Coding Skills to Young Children

I love that we've reached the point where even people without access to technology can start teaching coding skills. This article over at Mindshift highlights some amazing games teachers can use to introduce coding concepts without a single piece of tech on hand.

2. Let's Ban Bans in the Classroom

Here, John Jones makes a compelling argument against banning technology in the classroom, pointing out the flaws in studies on multitasking and asking the important question: "Why must we ask the 21st century to wait outside our classrooms?" Definitely worth a read if you've ever questioned the wisdom of tech in your class.

3. Fact or Fiction?: Video Games are the Future of Education

This interesting article from back in September sees Elena Malykhina do a great job of summarizing both the pros and cons of games based education. It explores some of the ways innovative teachers use games, and discusses the need for balance in all things.

4. What Video Games Can Teach Us

This article over at Science News for Students is excellent reading for kids and teachers alike. Emily Sohn carefully explores the benefits of video games after a previous installation considering criticisms of violent video games. This article is clear and intelligent, a great counterpoint to many video game critics.

5. The Assassin's Creed Curriculum: Can Video Games Teach Us History?

This one's not so new either, but Molly Osberg does an amazing job of considering the role actual history plays in historical games, and how much we can learn from playing them. (As a side note -- I love all the women writing about video games in education. So awesome!).

These are the five articles that caught my attention this week.

Question of the Week:
What's the best video game article you read this week?
Click here to tweet this question

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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Five Worst Pieces of Advice We Give New Teachers

As we've had a lot of student teachers come through lately, I've been thinking back to my own start as a beginning teacher, and all the great advice for new teachers people sent my way -- as well as a few duds. It took me years to unlearn some of the things my mentors taught me, and unfortunately, I still hear people giving the same advice to new teachers -- even if it's couched in prettier terms than the blunt ones I've used below. And it's time to stop -- this isn't advice that benefits anyone!

1. You have to cover every learning objective -- thoroughly and in detail!

Obviously, the curriculum and the learner outcomes are essential. They need to direct our teaching. But there are also, literally, thousands of them, and if you try to teach each one with equal depth and breadth, you will lose your mind, your students will hate you, and no one will learn anything.

Look at the big picture. When my students do their unit on ancient Greece, the main things I need them to know are that democracy began in ancient Athens, that it functioned similarly to but different from how we use democracy today, and that there were a lot of factors that made the situation unfair to modern sensibilities. Obviously, we're going to go into more depth than that -- but those are the key outcomes around which I structure the unit.

2. Use the textbook

Everyone tells beginning teachers to start with the textbook. It's there, it has the information you need to cover -- why wouldn't you use it? Well, because it's usually awful, for one thing. And because as a beginning teacher, you're probably brimming over with the kind of energy and enthusiasm only a first year teacher can have, and rigidly sticking to a textbook will destroy your creativity.

Don't be afraid of the textbook. If it's useful to you, use it. But don't be afraid to throw it out the window and encourage kids to get their information from anywhere that makes sense -- and to teach awesome lessons that the textbook could never imagine.

3. Don't reinvent the wheel

Now on the surface of it, this is great advice. If someone has done the exact lesson you were looking for and put it online for free, why on earth would you make your own? That far, I agree with it. But there are times when "don't reinvent the wheel" turns into a mantra, and people are almost afraid to experiment. Because what if you fail?

By all means, check online, check books, look for premade lessons that make you smile. But if you don't find exactly what you're looking for, it really might be worth your time to design the whole thing from the ground up, especially if you're going to use it year after year.

4. No child should ever be on medication

This one's controversial, I know. Most teachers come out of university thinking that no child should ever be on medication for any purpose. And it's definitely true that medication is prescribed quite readily by some doctors, and often overprescribed. Still, it doesn't take too many years of teaching before you realize that some children really do benefit from medication of various types. A child with a chemical depression may really need that medication.

Encourage classroom modifications and leave medication as a last resort. If a parent is concerned, encourage them to speak to their paediatrician -- after all, we aren't doctors.

And then there's the very worst advice I got, the advice that took me ten years to unlearn, that if I'm honest I'm STILL unlearning...

5. Make sure you do everything perfectly, because it's a competition, and everyone is judging you.

Is your bulletin board perfect? Because you know the teacher down the hall is checking it out, and so is every parent who walks by. And that typo you made on your class website is being analyzed on Facebook. Don't ever admit to a student that you don't know something! How can parents trust you if you're not a walking Google with every fact at your disposal? And above all, never, ever forget that teaching is a competition, and that the colleague down the hall is always looking better than you in the eyes of the parents, the school, administration.

Can we please, please leave this behind? Focus on teamwork? On collaboration? The more we turn one another into the enemy, the less we're able to focus on our jobs: working together to help every student learn!

Question of the Day:
What's the worst teaching advice you've ever received?

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015

10 Things Video Games Can Teach Teachers

It's important for teachers to change with the times, and I (obviously) think that video games give us an excellent model of how to teach. Having spent the last two weeks playing Amnesia, Shadowrun, and a bizarre Japanese dating sim called Hatoful Boyfriend involving birds (don't ask), I've been thinking a lot about why students play games instead of studying in their free time. With that in mind, here are ten things video games can teach teachers.

1. Never memorize what you can look up.

If a game gives me the code to a room, I'd be pretty annoyed if it expected me to commit it to memory with no way to check it. It's trivia -- a random detail I would never memorize because the important parts are the process of getting the information and how you use it, not the information itself... which sounds pretty familiar!

2. Repetition is the key to success.

No game expects you to be perfect at something on your first try. You do it over and over and over again until it's second nature, and THEN they add on.

3. You learn better when you're having fun.

You can learn to play a game in the fraction of the time it takes to memorize the periodic table of elements.

4. You'll memorize information when you perceive a need for it.

If a video game repeatedly forces you to look up the same information, you'll memorize it, either by accident or because you're sick of looking it up. You won't do this for fun though -- it has to be information you see as repeatedly required and useful.

5. People don't mind doing hard things if they are enjoying themselves.

Lots of games aren't easy. Some of them use that as their primary selling point. People enjoy a challenge -- they just want one that's entertaining and that they know they have a chance of beating.

6. Failure is easier without consequences.

Failure in video games comes with very minor consequences, if any. That makes people bolder and more willing to think and experiment.

7. The best learning happens when it has a purpose.

People learn video game mechanics, even really complicated ones, because they give them the chance to do something they're invested in. They wouldn't learn them just for their own sake.

8. Creativity goes hand in hand with learning.

Look at the fanfiction surrounding popular games if you doubt me. People love to learn if they can take the information and run with it.

9. Choice creates investment.

Sandbox games are popular for a reason. Even linear games usually give you a choice in how you speak and respond to the people around you. Remember the outcry over the Mass Effect 3 endings? (For those unfamiliar -- the entire series was based around the idea that your choices had a massive impact on the game's outcome, but at the end of the series, the three endings were virtually identical, creating a fan uprising). People like to think they're in control of their own destiny and affecting the outcome, even if the choices are limited to a specific set.

10. Things we learn through play stick around longer.

It takes me about five seconds to remaster the controls of an old, much beloved video game, no matter how complicated those controls seemed at the time. Going back to high school physics, on the other hand, would take a lot longer for me to remember.

Video games are awesome learning vehicles. Here are ten things we can learn about learning from video games, ready for use in the classroom!

Question of the Day:
Do you use any of these ideas in your classroom? If so, how?

I fully admit that my classroom is not a utopia where all ten of these lessons appear every day in every lesson, but I do try to keep them in mind when I'm coming up with new ideas -- especially the concepts of play, choice, and investment.

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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Free Craft Idea: Stained Glass For Christmas

These beautiful art projects are something I picked up at a conference a few years ago and have loved ever since. They are simple and relatively inexpensive (as stained glass goes!), and the kids love them. If you need a quick homemade Christmas gift or a class art project, this is a great way to do it.


(For each student)
-an 8X10 picture frame (I buy them at the Dollar Store) with a glass cover
-glass paints
-fake leading (often sold in packs with the glass paints)

What to do:

1. Most picture frames have a fake picture in them for marketing purposes. Take it out and flip it over -- it's usually white on the back. If it isn't, you will need to trace around the glass from the frame to cut a piece of white paper the same size as the glass. 

2. Have students draw a large object (we often use Christmasy symbols like a candle or a star) in the centre of the paper. Encourage them to make it large and use outlines only -- they won't be able to draw details in "lead" easily. 

3. Once the main object is drawn, have students block in random shapes around it. Students have a tendency to make these too small, so encourage them to keep them large enough to rest a quarter inside. 

4. Once the pattern is drawn, place it under the glass and secure the frame to keep the glass and paper securely in place. Using the black leading, trace over all the lines you can see under the glass. If you're right handed, start at the top left; if left handed, the top right. Work down diagonally so as not to smudge the lines as you draw. 

5. The leading dries fairly quickly and this step takes a while, so by the time you've finished the top should be dry enough to begin carefully filling in each space with coloured glass paint. Encourage students to not have two sections of the same colour touch. 

6. That's it! Let the paint dry, remove the paper and frame, and you have a piece of Christmas stained glass to treasure for years to come.

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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Hour of Code Lesson Plans and Ideas

Have you wished you could participate in Hour of Code, but you don't know much about coding or programming? Join the club! Not many teachers secretly program video games in their spare time (although, wow, kudos to those who do). Fortunately, there are tons of online lesson plans to help you integrate this amazing opportunity with minimal technical expertise.

What is Hour of Code and Why Should I Care?

The Hour of Code is an annual challenge asking everyone to spend one hour learning coding. The idea is to demystify computer programming and demonstrate that anyone can learn to code. This is particularly important for our students who are growing up in a computer oriented world -- shouldn't they know the basics? Hour of Code takes very little time, but it can introduce kids to a whole new world. 

Where Can I Go For Free Lesson Plans?

There are tons of awesome free lesson plans for Hour of Code available online. Here are some of the best!

Khan Academy remains one of the first and best for tackling this sort of thing. They have a series of videos aimed at both younger and older learners. The tutorials are clear and easy to follow, even if you have no coding background whatsoever. And because everything is laid out as videos, you can have your students work on them at their own pace. 

The Hour of Code website also has fantastic tutorials (including an Elsa tutorial bound to appeal to young Frozen fans). It's a quick, step-by-step process that requires minimal teacher supervision and knowledge. There are many levels of tutorial to choose from, so you can pick the one that matches you and your students' needs.

Tynker is a free app/program (or at least, it's free for their hour of code programs) that does a great job of introducing coding in a fun, accessible way. Kids will enjoy working with it, although it does take a bit more teacher time investment as you will have to figure out how to use it yourself -- the above two examples pretty much explain themselves without much instruction.

Scratch is a very popular app for learning coding and working with computer programming, and they offer a number of suggested activities for hour of code on their website. There's a reason this program is so popular -- kids really enjoy it and it offers a lot of flexibility.

5. Simple Apps To Introduce the Concept

There are a number of different apps specifically designed to introduce kids to the idea of coding. Some of the easiest, and best, include Daisy the Dino, Kodable, and Cargo-Bot. All of these have free demo models, if they aren't completely free -- certainly enough to get you through an hour of code. Daisy the Dino is very simplistic, but it works great with young children. 

Question of the Day:
Are you participating in Hour of Code?
Click to Tweet This Question

I used the Khan Academy lesson with a grade six class today, and we had a great time. The kids were so proud and impressed with themselves!

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Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Educational Apps No Teacher Should be Without

I'm getting pickier about apps. There are so many I've downloaded that never seem to get used. That's not a huge deal when they're free, but if you paid for them, it's pretty annoying. For that reason, I'm constantly refining and sorting through the list of apps I use the most, and here are the ones that survived the cut!

Ten Amazing Educational Apps For Teachers

Price: Free with a ton of ads, or $2.99 for the "pro" version.

This one remains a perennial favorite, transforming your iPad into a sound meter that warns  kids when they're being too noisy. It's incredibly useful when you have a group of students who just can't seem to monitor themselves. The ads are annoying in the free version, so it may be worth the $2.99 to get rid of them.

Price: $4.99

At five bucks, this is one of the pricier apps in my "must have" selection, but it is worth every penny. Dragon Box makes algebraic concepts incredibly clear at a basic, simple level. It's fun enough that kids love to play it, and it makes the idea of algebra and balancing equations so clear, teachers will love it too.

Price: Free

I don't teach science anymore, but I wish this app had been around when I did. It's a fantastic repository of videos about basic scientific concepts -- like YouTube, but only for science lessons and without the creepy suggested videos at the end.

 Price: $0.99

Numbler is Scrabble with numbers. Kids really enjoy playing it, and it's a great finish up activity, math center, or just way to get the entire class thinking about different ways to create equations. It gets a lot of use in my classroom. 

Price: $0.99

Scribblenauts is one of those games where kids don't even realize they're learning because they're having so much fun. You can have a robust discussion about adjectives, nouns, and spelling before and during play, and it's a definite exercise in creative thinking. This one gets busted out during indoor recesses in my classroom, as well as during language arts lessons.

These are my five top current apps for education. 

Question of the Day:
What are the best educational apps in your classroom?

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The Critical Role of Play in Learning

The single worst thing we ever did in education is remove the element of play.

Maybe in the 19th century, education without play was effective. Maybe. But keep in mind, that was a time where...

-children were essentially being prepped to work in factories. And by children, I mean boys. Girls were obviously going to be housewives and mothers, so if they didn't learn it wasn't such a big deal

-school wasn't mandatory. If you felt your kids would be better served by staying home and working the farm, more power to you. 

-the stakes were lower. You didn't have to choose a career as your focus with the knowledge that if you changed your mind, you were in for about six more years of expensive training. But in the end, your occupational choices were fairly limited, anyway. Many jobs were hereditary. Many people didn't work at all. Families and groups were small and contained, with little need for collaboration or creativity as people adhered to traditions. 

So much has changed that it's impossible for us to keep going back to a factory model of education, saying "this worked for my grandparents, and it WILL work for you!"

So where does play come in?

When we look at how education has changed, there are so many demands not just on kids, but on adults. We're expected to have more wide spread knowledge of intricate concepts. Remember, not that long ago, you only knew how to drive if you were a member of a very specific group (chauffeurs, farmers, or the very rich and bored). And if you DID drive, you knew everything there was to know about cars, because you had to. How many of us can say that now? Or have the first idea how the technology we use every day functions?

My point is, there's a lot to know. And while the basics still matter, we're no longer just imparting knowledge -- if we ever were. We're teaching students with full awareness that many of the things they're learning will be rendered obsolete by the time they graduate. So why still do it? Because the focus has shifted from learning facts to learning how to think. A well educated student will be able to adjust to new ideas, concepts, and technology by using the skills they've learned in other situations. 

All of which brings me back to play. 

How do kids learn? By exploring. By doing. In other words, by playing. If we encourage kids to view learning as fun, by making play an integral part of the educational experience, we create adults who embrace challenges, who will not be afraid of new problems, technology, and ideas. 

So next time you see your kid playing a video game, or your students come in talking about Call of Duty, take a deep breath before you panic, and try looking at it from a different angle. What are they learning? What is their play teaching them? And -- as a sneaky teacher -- how can you capitalize on those concepts?

Question of the Day:
What's a time you've learned through play?
Click to Tweet This Question

It's an old example, but I always think of trying fights in video games over and over. I try something and I die. I consider what happened, I choose a new strategy, and I adapt. Depending on the game, I may eventually realize that I'm playing at too high a level, and make the decision to go and level up -- to learn and grow more -- before I take on this challenge again. To me, this is the high level learning and decision making we want our students to show!

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