I give all the credit in the world to the kindergarten teachers of the world! I spent one hour with two different kindergarten classes today and my eyes were open to a whole new light.
I was in the computer lab awaiting their arrival and trying my best not to worry about all these little persons coming in and scampering about. And then I heard it.... "Oh my goodness! There are COMPUTERS!!!" Those little ones were so overcome with excitement how could one not get pumped to be with them?!
The kindergarten teacher and I got them each settled at a computer with each child clutching in their hands a card with their first name, last name and student ID number, like it was the golden ticket to Willy Wonka's factory. The way our network is currently set up is that students can sign on to an individual account using this information. Well, let me tell you, this was a feat in itself just getting them logged in. Once we all got our names spelled right and the right ID numbers typed in we were good to go!
I keep coming back to the idea of play in technology to see what kids can figure out by exploring on their own. So first we talked about what it meant to explore something. The kids decided that it meant: look around and see what you can find out. So I let them loose to explore Pixie2. There truly are so many Possibilities with Pixie.
After they got over the shock of being asked to "just explore" it was not long until you heard the sounds of little voices full of joy and wonder. It seemed so natural to them to shout out "Look what I did!" and then the students around them look over and then exclaim "Cool! How did you do it?" And then the best thing happened - they started teaching each other what they had figured out through exploring. After awhile we came back together as a class and I had students take turns showing what they had learned to everyone.
These little people had NO FEAR in clicking buttons to see what would happen. In just a few minutes time they had figured out everything that probably would have taken me 30 minutes to talk about and show and they probably wouldn't remember. There is something to be said in setting them free and letting them guide you in what they need help with.
So....let the little people in our schools at that technology and sit back in amazement at what they can do!