Over the years common phrases amongst adults have been “I don’t do maths!” and “that’s not for me.” However, these phrases are now more closely linked to the use and teaching of technology. With the fear of new technology and the curriculum that underpins this rising with each update, more and more adults are quick to avoid tech based experiences that rely on an engaged understanding and revert to a passive experience. (Consuming rather than creating.)
The general trend seems to be to allow children to engage in game play and virtual experiences without looking at the programming skills, problem solving strategies or the potential to inspire wider learning behind them. The delivery of passive experiences both at home and in the classroom are the main catalysts for the ongoing screen time debate. (But that’s a topic for another day.)
As teachers, we comfort our pupils daily, reassuring them that failure and challenge is acceptable and that exploring the unknown is part of the journey and develops a deeper understanding of learning. But on reflection, as staff we try our upmost to avoid this. The fear of pressing a button is often the first hurdle we fall at. Yet again, when guiding children our questioning encourages them to click and see what happens. What if…How could…What next?
We need to refresh our mind set and approach technology with the same inhibition as children. Press the button, make mistakes. After all, a core element within the computing curriculum is to trouble shoot and to fix bugs. How could we develop this skill and create future careers if our experiences are always linear and to plan? By jumping on board with our pupils we enable ourselves to break down our confidence barriers. Remember - the first sparks of enthusiasm develop from ‘firsts.’ Let’s allow ourselves to find the joy behind question marks and use the support of those around us to link remaining gaps.
Take a leap, seek advice, make mistakes and discover the power of teaching with technology.