Need to Know

Interesting day today with the 6th graders. As I was speaking in class close to mid-day, I found that the kids were listening with staring eyes. So, I stopped and got their attention by asking some questions. One of the questions I asked was, “What kind of stuff do you want to do in here?” in hopes that it would spark some kind of conversation. One answer from a student was that he would like to build a website. I said that would be fine and then asked what it would be about. He didn’t know. I questioned a bit further and came to understand that building a site would be cool but no one knows what the site would be about. With an idea lodged in head, the idea being that the kids really don’t know what they want to learn, I asked them to send me an email telling me what would interest them. The general pattern was this:

  • build a website
  • make games
  • learn VoiceThread (this is what we are doing right now)
  • learn how to better use Chrome

That was it. What did I learn? Despite the boredom on their faces, and knowing they really weren’t engaged in learning, the 6th graders still didn’t know what the alternative would be to learning what I was teaching. In even kids in the digital age really don’t know what is all out there and need someone to show it to them.