Parents are proud of their children. A small milestone to an outsider is like an Olympic achievement to a parent. Parenthood is special. Enter my child, Talon. Last year he was Mr 7. He has just become Mr 8. He is certainly a cluey kid and as a parent I am confident that he is going to be the first President of the Moon.
Recently I have been considering the impact of environment on his development. I have been immersed in the educational use of technology for the past decade. So what does this mean with my own child? He is incredibly tech-savvy. It is embedded in his thought patterns. Is this a wash-over from my own professional interests or is he simply a product of his generation?
About eight months ago, Talon asked me if he could use my iPad to look up how to make a loom double braid bracelet. Curious, I said OK and then quietly observed what he did.
He went to Google, typed in ‘How to make loom double braid bracelet, YouTube’ . Shock one – he can spell bracelet. Shock two – he knows what YouTube is. Shock three – he knew how to conduct a search! The shock factor didn’t stop here.
He then selected one of the links which took him to Nina Houston’s online tutorial. As he watched the step by step tutorial he created his own loom double braid bracelet with the little kit. BOOM!
Since then, he has been using online tutorials for a whole variety of learning experiences, all of which have been self-motivated and self-directed. This child is in Year Three. The implications of this for teaching and learning really need to be investigated seriously. Teachers who only use ‘traditional’ pedagogical approaches are very likely slowing down the development of their own students. Perhaps a good professional development activity would be to have teachers make a loom double braid bracelet while watching YouTube!