Wednesday, October 22, 2008

playing with technology

there are so many cool things to learn when it comes to technology. for example, i remember getting all excited about taking a flash workshop - i had all kinds of ideas that i wanted to develop for my teaching, so when the chance arose to take a course i was really looking forward to it.

i think many of us are used to learning technology by taking a tutorial or workshop. it is usually full of exciting new information that goes by in a flurry. then at the end you gather up your notes and handouts, and go home thinking about what you can do with your new learning. truth is that unless you sit down and play with it right away, the notes inevitably get lost somewhere in that so-well-organized filing system and it just seems to get more and more difficult to get back to. time passes, and when you finally do get the chance to sit down - if you do get it --- well, let's say that i have yet to create even one of those brilliant flash ideas of mine...

so for this class, i figure why not really go constructivist - just give them an idea, a little bit of direction, a bunch of tools and then let them discover. just like we used to when we were young - learn through play.

give this task to a class of young people and chances are they'll be off and running. but i've discovered a curious thing when it comes to adults - it's not always so easy for us to just play. we tend to want to over think the task, get bogged down by concerns about what to do or how to do it. it's quite fascinating really. and i think that this is a contributing factor to why the digitial divide is becoming more and more a generational thing and less an access thing...when it comes to technology, kids just tend to love to get down with it.

...and so i maintain that the best way to learn technology is to simply play with it!

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