Monday, January 25, 2010

Traditional Meets Digital

Rachel Boyd gives us an insight to her six and seven year-old students' classroom. The video "A peek for a Week - Inside a Kiwi Junior Classroom" takes place in Nelson, New Zealand. During this video Boyd introduces WALT (We are learning to), a concept that teaches students to learn independently through technology. This video discusses various categories covered in "Room 9": classroom routines, oral language, listening, speaking, narrative writing, readig, maths, inquiry learning, music, and physical education. She introduces different digital teaching avenues to her students enriching their understanding of technology, as well as adding vibrancy to the cirriculium. Boyd holds true to the traditional learning methods like writing, reading, and mathematics using "old-school" mediums. Pencil and paper are still used by the classroom of 2010... But will this be the case a decade from now?

Room 9 starts the morning of by logging on to their classroom wiki hub on an interactive whiteboard. One of the following activities that follows involves watching and discussing a video clip from the New Zealand news website. This covers current stories occuring locally and internationally. When writing narrative stories her student's collaborate with various classrooms using docs.google. To help with handwriting they practice correct letter formation on the white board. In class the kids improve their typing skills by practicing on paper keyboards and connecting to a BBC website for additional help. For daily fitness they go to youtube to find videos that help them stay active and physically fit. The students use a variety of reading strategies using a website called Delicious. Boyd's classroom uses another helpful called Spellingcity they can leave comments and shares links on this online spelling program. This site introduces proper spelling and familiarity with basic words. Sites like Tutpup help to aid the children with their mathematical skills. Inquiry learning is an interesting category that gets students and teachers involved with a website called Xtranormal. It teaches them how to make animated movies. The children get to share their knowledge with the teachers by giving a tutorial on how to use the site.

When I was in elementary school my favorite time was snack time. Everybody would gather up for story time while muching on snacks! Funcity! Well Boyd puts a little nice spin on this ever so popular wind down time. She created something called 'nibbles time'. This is where the students get to finish their leftover lunch while they read emails and comments on their writing blogs. During this time the students make connections with other classes and communicate with other schools. When international students comment on their links they go to Google Earth to pin point their exact location. How much fun! Seeing technologically advanced classrooms like Boyd's make me wish I was born in the 21st century instead of the 20th. Snack time or nibbles time? Story time or blogging time? Interesting transtions indeed :D

Incorporating Boyd's visual art ideas into my my own opens up many doors in my mind. I love the idea of the students incorporating hands on art with the digital world. A combining of two great forces. The digitally enhanced artwork Boyd's classroom created was so creative and inspiring. Following a similar protocal, I would first have the students take digital photos of themselves, an animal, friend, family member, or any object that they liked. Then they could draw a background to put behind the cut-out digitally photographed image. Prepration for graphic design is something that should be introduced in middle and elementary school. Which apparently New Zealand has got the right idea. Considering how most societies (especially America) are fueled by advertising, it just makes sense to start preping them at an early age. Teaching the students to combine traditional with the digital is an excellent idea.

Hold true to the original and embrace the new.

Some extra links: Prezi, Wikispaces, Animoto


  1. Great job summing up the video, as well as the hyperlinks! You went aboce and beyond the call, KUDOS-

  2. Absolutely, this was a great reflection and post!