This page shows the common sequence I use when introducing students to new technology. The first step is the ‘play’ step, and I believe that play is an essential step for students learning new technologies. This step gives the students free reign to explore the new tools without having “serious work” to accomplish. This stage allows for students’ natural curiosity to take over and test the limits of the technology in a really low-risk setting. I found out that when I skip this step, or move through it too quickly, I noticed that students will still want to play when I actually want them to do the serious work.
Although, I know and have studied the importance of play for students, I hadn’t ever thought how important this is in the digital realm as well.
Many teachers argue that when integrating technology, students are just playing rather than using the technology as a tool to facilitate their learning.
But what if playtime were a part of introducing new technology?
What if students were given the opportunity to explore and discover on their own?
The times that I have done this in my classroom or students have gone home and played with the features in their blogging platform are the times that students and I have learned the most together.