Ready? Set. Play!

There are many approaches to teaching your students a new "tech tool" and depending on the amount of time that you have will vary your approach. One way that I introduce a new tech tool, other than walking the student step-by-step through the process, is allowing them to, well, play!

Why I love allowing students to play with a new tech tool:
  1. It promotes creativity. I don't expect an end product. It alleviates stress of having to create something that has such a binding contract.
  2. It fosters collaboration and teachable moments. If you allow require your students to get out of their seats and assist their peers, the entire learning process is now in their hands. Talk about student-centered learning at it's finest.
  3. When it comes time to create the "final product" they understand the tool (maybe even more than you do at this point), and may reiterate to you what they have learned more clearly.
  4. They may take advantage of the advantages of 20% Time (awesome read right here). There have been many studies suggesting that there is great value of allowing students to explore a topic of their choice. Although you are providing the "topic," being the technology tool, you are allowing them to explore it in their own manner. Whether they are using Image Blender to create a drawing of a sunset, or PiktoChart to create an info-graphic about their favorite hockey player, the bottom line it: They are learning the new tool on the way.
What do you think about allowing students to "play" to introduce a new tool?


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