At my school we have an iPad cart, with a set of iPads that can move from class to class. This has proven to be a little challenging, and we had many hiccups along the way, but they finally seem to be up and running consistently. I brought them into my class yesterday, and as a fun activity wanted my students to create a movie trailer for their parents, for our student-led conferences next Thursday. Prior to starting the activity I questioned how many students had used iMovie before, to which I was shocked by the surprise of only 3! I went through some minor instructions, but thought it might be best for the students to play around with it themselves.
After the first 5-10 minutes of constant questioning, “How do I do this? How do I do that?” it was incredible to see their abilities with a tool they had never used before. It was so intuitive for them to discover how to use it and their level of engagement was significantly high. They were out of their desks, collaborating together, mentoring other students, and fully appreciating the task at hand.
I think sometimes as teachers we over think our lessons. Our perfectionism and desire for control over takes the voice and ability of our students. I think we’re scared sometimes to let go and let our students lead. This proved to me, that if they have the tools necessary, the technology to enable, their voices and skills are apparent. Being a teacher in the 21st century, we need to be able to give control to our students over their learning and allow them to shine.