Being an occasional teacher, I have a lot of opportunity to see what engages students and what does not. The times I have seen the students to be the most involved are when they are using technology. A class of grade 5/6 gifted students were so into the bridge-building stimulation game they were using that they bargained with their French teacher to let them keep at it at the end of the allotted time period. She agreed, on the condition that if they speak, it be in French. The result being that, not only were they learning about structures, they were speaking and learning the vocabulary in French. Just, WOW! In every case that I have seen students involved in meaningful technological projects, they have been engaged. I had to kick another grade 6 class out of the computer lab at break time. They were busy creating comic strips on BitComet. It is truly amazing to see such student involvement. Isn’t it time that students LOVE going to school; that school becomes a place where they are challenged, where they can create and impact the world that they live in?
It seems to me that we have finally found the answer to keeping kids engaged, thus successful. So why so much opposition? Our students will be knowledgeable, functioning, critical consumers when we release them to the “real world”. Is this not the goal of Education? Maybe, not everyone’s, but it is definitely mine.