Friday, 18 October 2013

21st Century Learning - Rocketships and piggies

Some days it just all comes together.  And apart. 

An aside, to start with.  I am blogging for a course right now. I usually post them on a made-for-that blog.   But of course, you can't put everything in a tidy box. Things spill out.  So this post, though it comes from the reflection of grown-up conversations, belongs here. 

I have to say,  I am struggling.  I am finding that as I get grey, and crotchety, and well, old,  I am less likely to be impressed with things, and more likely to question them.  I have a lot of world’s crashing together, and powerful voices feeding this feeling of frenzy that is unsettling. 

I think I am a global learner.  I am all techie, and connected and PLNy.  My ks have access to all the shiny brilliance I can focus my fractured brain upon.  21st Century Learning and all that. 

But I wonder if there is a Honeymoon Period to this brave  “opening the world to all”.  I wonder if there is a seven year itch.  Of course, we are an easily distracted culture,  and I am a “LOOK SQUIRRELL” kinda gal,  so my itch is coming after only a few years into this blast-to-my-brain mountain of possibility and wonder that is the newly dubbed, but surprisingly familiar, 21st Century Learning.   

And then, some days, it all comes together.  Take today. 

As any day in Kindergarten, it ran the gambit from pull out your hair, giggle, heart pounding, stomach dropping, stitches, homesick, happy, frustrated, exasperated, screaming, cheering, oh wait nose bleeding normalcy.  In all that mess, some things work. Some do not.  But what always fills my heart with weary wonder is the sheer volume and variety of expression and voice in a room full of five year old brains.  

It was Fairy Tale Friday.  Three little pigs this time.  We played Guess That Fairy Tale on our Family Facebook,  giving clues for families to guess.  So all day, families posted back into facebook.  Quite surprising how many options  “It has a Wolf in it”  has :)  

The iPads were busy too of course.  Some puppet show thing, for one, but finally, after a few days of invitation and provocation, Make a Movie took off. Director, Storyteller, all that.  We made tactile storybords, build naturey loose bit houses on bricks, ran like banshees outside in one of our Knooks, retelling the timeless story.  Made a movie of that and shared it on Family FaceBook.  

Very 21st Century learning, yes?  

Yet it is a very “old school” moment that sticks in my head. Makes me smile in spite of the blur that can be my day.   Tristan.  Flying a puppet wolf around the room in a made by him rocketship. With three little pigs in tow.  He now owns that story.  He made it his own.  His choice.  His voice. 

And it made me really look around the room. Not that skim past, no-one is bleeding, arrrg! look,  but a slow motion whoa.  Because at the end of the day, every kid, at a free-choice-pick-what-ya-wanna play time, was engaged in making an Old Favourite Fairy Tale their own.  Their choice. Their voice. Even that kid who was way-to-much-gluing popsicle sticks.  “He won’t blow this down”, he muttered. All loosey-goosey and jittery and real. 

Sometimes I worry for the world, in this 21st century.  I really do.  But maybe now, when I do,  I will close my eyes, and see Tristan’s Rocketship,  and know,  that come hell or high water, a 21st century classroom is actually very simple.  

Choice. Voice.        Time.