A Story About Voice
*Apologies to work colleagues who already read this in Office 365!
We have all reflected at some point or another that children today are different from our generations. This isn’t due to any great biological or anatomical evolutions, simply that the world they live in is different to the one we experienced as children, and how they view themselves and the world around them makes them different from us in our youth.
Over the last few weeks my daughter (a 6 year old SK) has become fascinated with one the latest trends – “Rainbow Loom” bracelets. Anyone who has noticed me wearing more elastic bands than a man in his thirties should may have seen some of the results of this new hobby! Anyway, I have been fascinated with how she has picked up this new skill. After first playing around and following the print instructions to create her first bracelet, she progressed on to watching other kids on YouTube show how to make anything from a simple single loom bracelet to such wonders as the “Star Burst” or “Hexi Fish”. We’ve tried them all at this point!
Today, my daughter discovered she could make a bracelet using just her fingers and not the loom. Her reaction was the interesting part that shows just how different the world of an SK today is. She realised she had done something she had not seen a video for yet. To her this meant only one thing – make a video! Once she had recruited a cameraman (guess who?!), she set up her equipment and we hit record. One take was all it took, and in that one take I learned so much about being a child today and how much they take in from the digital formats they are exposed to, right down to her unprompted request at the end to hit “Like” and come back for more videos!
I like to think my daughter is pretty typical of the other kids in her class, of her age, and in her generation. If the children coming in to our schools today know they can learn any skill or research any piece of information just using an internet connection, and if they have an answer they think someone else in the world may be looking for they know that they have a vehicle and voice to make that information known, what does that mean to the classroom? If this is how they see themselves and the world around them, what is the impact on me as the teacher to keep learning relevant to them? Is it any wonder we have disengaged students when the place they go to learn every day does not fit their understanding of what it is to learn? How does the role and responsibilities of the teacher change if these are the students in front of us every day?
Please take a second to click play on the video below, and know that if you “Like” you will confirm to this 6 year old just how far their voice can travel.