Monday, August 20, 2012

Literacy, Technology and Emotions

My nephew, a digital native, maybe 3 or 4 years old found my mothers cell phone and had located the games with no direct instruction.  It was truly like second nature for this child to navigate the operating system. 

Will this effect the child's future, societal future and even our community as a whole?  Will language development speed up or slow down due to the shift in learning?  Will the child still need as many words and adult contact in the developmental years under 5 or will technology suffice?  These are questions that time and society will address.

We can't wait for the answers.  Our State Standards will require deeper articulation and language development sooner than later.  Reading, interpretations and applications of understanding will form the basis of our latest set of standards, which really seems like a deeper understanding of prior curricula.  Research verifies children develop emotional stability as they mature, especially hearing words and healthy adult dialogue as youngsters but, what effect does technology have on abstract concepts and their development?

For instance, today, while popping in a reading class, the teacher was using an interactive smart board to help students (6th graders) draw pictures of abstract concepts, like emotions, feeling and reactions.  By equipping these students with language, they were able to begin to express themselves in a healthy manner, without frustrations as they searched for words to describe their emotions.  By drawing a picture or sketch of an abstract concept, the students were able to "see" the emotion (or at least the effect of the emotion) and better understand the concept.  (well done KS)

This evidence and practice of language development becomes the means and not the ends, which outlines our question.  Like all tools (think hammer or drill), educational tools align.  (Think technology, writing, reading or ciphering)  These tools require training in safe operation, maintenance and even application.  (think about hammering with a drill!).  These tools begin simple but increase in difficulty as the use matures. 

So what do we do?  We teach people, whatever they need to know for their future!

Winfield Middle School is on the map!

Answer:  Redcliff Colorado is the Green Bridge on the prior post, not to be confused with the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia as seen below.  (Great guess MW)

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