About a week ago my 11-year-old had to finish up a science experiment at home. She said she had data she needed to work analyze. She jumped on the computer put in her data from heart rate experiments into an Excel file and within minutes had a full-color bar graph.
She printed it out in color and moved on with her day. I’m not sure where she learned that Excel and Google Docs would let her instantly make data charts, tables, graphs and flow charts, but I sure am amazed she knows.
Last year Walsh’s class participated in a school-wide special project. The kids were supposed to create some type of project but it could be in any field. Walsh chose to combine science and computer technology. So while other kids brought in dioramas and poster boards, Walsh used GoAnimate.com to animate a cartoon about the environment. I don’t know how he learned that either.
Walsh has a current assignment to compare character traits from two characters in a Newberry Award-winning book. The assignment says to cut out words from magazines or write in different colors to create your word cloud. However, there are bunches of sites that would let you do that online and print it.
Is the lesson lost if you did the project with technology? You still have to think of the character traits and type them in. Now maybe some of the creativity is lost because the computer is choosing the pattern and not the child. Hmmmm.
Do your kids turn to technology to complete school projects? Does your child choose to use technology, does the teacher or do you? Is there more or less value to the projects when using technology instead of old-school presentation styles? Does it make it more valuable to adapt to using technology in every day life?