Baby, just go outside!
In so many important ways, technology gives us a window to the world. Students can explore incredible locations, see fantastic critters, and get to know some wonderful people. But they have access to another portal to learning: the door! Now is an incredible time to encourage students to explore their own back yards! Super Teacher, Roberta Hart, is extending our mission in Borneo by having students track and observe plants and animals in their own back yards! I love that she's taken full advantage of the opportunity to do things differently. I also love that she's found a way to keep technology use focused, purposeful, and limited. Her students connect with her as needed and can vary the pacing and intensity of activities to suit their circumstances.
Both of the lessons headed your way next week are awesome to do outside. Each is a STEM challenge and the testing for each could easily happen outdoors! I really enjoy hearing the stories of how so many of you are flipping your classrooms right now. It is great to use video conferencing and collaboration tools to connect, collaborate, and share. What happens in between times, however, can be AWESOME! Talk to your kids about balancing screen time and outdoor time. When is each learning space the best choice? Because so much learning is happening asynchronously, kids have more chances than ever to take advantage of fickle spring weather and get out there when the conditions are right. I hope our lessons will make going outside more meaningful and fun!
I was talking with a colleague this week who was sharing concerns about a virtual classroom situation where the students were expected to be working with on-line learning apps while she monitored for three solid hours each morning. After a lunch break her students were once again plugged into screens with synchronous learning activities. Parents and specialists working with children in this class are rightly concerned! Thankfully, this story is atypical of the reports I'm getting from Go2Science teachers! Like Roberta, it seems as if you've all found ways to support your students that keeps technology use balanced and kids involved in hands-on learning. When that hands-on learning can happen outside, it's even better!!!
Meet Beth and Curtis!
Presidential Award-Winning teacher and hula hoop fanatic, Beth loves bringing real world science to kids! Beth is fascinated by engineering challenges, technology, and outdoor learning spaces. After 25 years teaching kindergarten, she’s excited to share her passion and experience on-line with classrooms from around the world!