This Week's Tip: Let them touch the tools
This week I've been thinking a lot about the magic students can do when you give them the tools. I think that often we're too scared to give kids tools to work with. We may be worried that they will break them or that they'll lose them or even that they might hurt themselves with them. We spend so much time focusing on the negatives that we may not even consider the potential of allowing students to use them.
When I was away on camp, I handed around my camera and the class' flip camera. It was really enjoyable to see how each student approached movie making. It made me realise that some students are great interviewers, others have excellent camera presence and still others are budding documentary makers!
We've also been testing out some tools from yesteryear. Descendents of Tom Lester (who found the gold that started the Australian gold rush) presented a workshop on gold for students yesterday, and they got to find 'gold' amongst the gravel using a cradle.
Later in the day, we had the opportunity to go up the Ridge again and do some weeding. Students worked in pairs with specially made hoes to dig out the verbascum up there. It is amazing the impact 60 students can have when they all work together to pull weeds for half an hour.
So, moral of the story? Whatever you're doing and whichever technologies you're using, put it into the hands of the kids. It's worth it. You'll be amazed.