I remember watching The Jetsons as a child and thinking how much I wanted a world like that. The thing that I remember most was the video phone. In the early 80s, the idea of being able to see who you were talking to only occurred for the Jetsons. Look at us now! Our students will not experience a world without this possibility. As much as I loved the Jetson’s, I have to wonder if we are in the middle of an extreme tech takeover.
With as much technology as we speak, teach and learn about…where is the line between screen time and hands time? How can we maintain our focus of working towards more digital learning without ignoring the necessities of kids physically creating…with their hands?
Within the “Use Your Hands” section, Kleon writes candidly about digital vs analog creativity. He is not a fan of computer only or even computers first. He believes that the process of physically ideating stimulates his creativity a lot more than digital only. He forms a bit of a digital to analog cycle in which he may start creating with markers and ink but switches to his digital space to refine.
In this section, Kleon states…
“Work that only comes from the head isn’t any good. Watch a great musician play a show. Watch a great leader give a speech. You’ll see what I mean.”
In my own space, I find that I do this as well when planning. I get post-it notes, poster paper, markers and stickers. This is how I design lessons. It helps me to physically manipulate my thoughts before placing them into my digital world. It’s actually irritating a bit to have people offer their app advice to replace my physical thinking. I don’t need app advice. I do this because it helps me. I do this because for some actions, digital is not what is best for ME.
I have to wonder about classes that are planning to be close to 100% digital. Is that even possible? I have to believe that within the children that we teach are others who think/learn like Austin Kleon and myself. I need the physical world just as much as I need the digital world. There has to be a balance to include all learners.
Much like Kleon’s Analog to Digital loop…
Hands on…Computer…Hands on…Computer
I may be wrong, but living in a world without the experience of receiving custom made cards or tissue paper flowers is just wrong.
When planning, before going to the shiny, consider what can be done unplugged.
More importantly, give your students a choice to choose what works best for them.