I was super impressed by a student yesterday. Students routinely impress me but this one blew me away. This post has an overtone of iPad stylus but it's more about the student.
We had a Fun Friday hour last week. I had open computer lab in my room. I had a couple of iPads going and I told one student that it would be cool to have a stylus for writing. I agreed and told him what I knew about how a stylus works. We built one together in class. We cut up a sponge, wet it a bit, and put a paper clip in it. It was crude but it worked. Then we took a pen apart and put the sponge and paper clip in the pen. It took some work but we got it.
Then, this student said he wanted to work on it over the weekend and asked if he could take home an iPad. I told him to ask the principal. The worst she could say was no. She let him take one home after hearing what the wanted to do. He was so pumped that she trusted him with $500 worth of technology. I quickly downloaded a drawing app so that he could play around.
He came back on Monday and said he had 4 models. FOUR! He researched on You Tube and said the video he watched was dumb and the one he created was better. Each of them worked. We tested them out and he offered ideas on making them better.
How many times do you have a student want to work on something during the weekend? How many times do they do their own research? How many times do you trust students to take home technology? How many times do students come up with multiple models of something?
That is learning!!!
I gave him less than three minutes of "teaching" and he spent his weekend creating.
What engaged him? Creating. Working on something new. Using technology.
How do I do more of that?