“When I move, I learn”
“I understand that you are a kinesthetic learner but if any administrator passes by, they will think I have no class control.” Carol chided Adam in class after he turned his back to her for the umpteenth time to talk with a friend behind him. She realized that there was nothing in her lesson plan that catered for the child. Furthermore, she was not sold on the cooperative learning idea. Not when she had the enormous syllabus and no time in which to complete it all. And students still did not seem to retain as much as she wanted them to.
“Miss, I have to go to the bathroom.”
“Go and sit down. You only want to waste time.” Fifteen seconds later. “Go.”
“Miss, can I drink this bottle of water, miss?”
She was not too hard on them though. She was an adult and she felt the same way in those five-hour long staff meetings.
“I still do not know what to do with these students,” Carol said exasperatingly to Richard afterwards. She felt like she had enough.
“Just give them time. It will come together.” Richard gathered some papers on his desk and arranged them neatly.
Time was what she had little of. How could she work more effectively?
This story perhaps mirrors what some teachers have to endure with the pressing curricular demands, seeming student misbehavior and the need to have a military silent zone in the classroom for administrators to think that learning is taking place. Some schools, equipped with the latest technology allow their students to move about. Carol and other teachers like her have to have a mindset change in lesson planning and preparation for the emerging technologies.
Gestures in Teaching and Learning
Check out this article:
“Want to learn quicker? Use your body.”
In some schools, students are still not supposed to move about. They are required to sit for an hour or two and give rapt attention to the lesson. It does not happen. Not when they are so used to flitting from one game to another on their portable device or computer. Their minds seem to always be busy wanting to find something else to do. What would happen if students were assigned different tasks and then could move about to get the tasks done? And how would that affect their retention rate afterwards?
It is reported that students remember ideas more readily when they are associated with body movements. Obviously you cannot do Advanced Calculus by using a counting-fingers technique, but there must be lessons for which using gestures is relevant. It is possible that when a gesture is made, it becomes that “something” out of the ordinary that causes students brains to record what they are doing at that particular time and they associate the gesture with that concept learnt. Gestures also would, most times, incorporate audio and visual learning styles as well.
Wii ( a gesture based device) in Education
Check out this article:
“Video games can Educate: Wii in the Classroom.”
Wii has not caught on everywhere. That does not matter. If it does not catch on soon, maybe there will be technology like it that will spark the attention of everyone. If that does surface, educators will think of using it in the classroom. Our teachers of mathematics and science along with others may want to see Wii with more educational content within some of the games. Imagine a Wii game with your class content? Or imagine getting a hold of a Wii remote and dreaming up the possibilities for its use, then implementing them in your class? Students are bound to recall some of what they see as they make visual associations with elements of the game.
Check out some applications of Wii
Wii for the Classroom
Wii Golf Subtraction
An Example of Wii Application – Big Brain Academy
(The presenter was really frank in the review however it does show some possibilities for the use of the technology.)
Educational games may suffer because designers think in a box and try to fit them in the same old classroom mode. Games can be designed outside a schoolroom. Game designers use such powerful graphics in regular games. It would be lovely to see investments in some that were fit for the classroom. As with all technology, the device comes at cost. The kit with one remote costs roughly $130.00 and you have to pay for additional remotes. It can take up to 4 players. All learners can benefit from the experience and students would have learnt and more importantly they would have had fun.
There are engaging ways to use the technology. It is time to explore.
Richard removed his earplugs. “What are you using to bring across the lesson tomorrow?”
“Wii.” Carol was all smiles.
“Wii? The game, Wii? You are kidding, right? Does administration know about this?” Richard’s eyes literally were popping out of his head.
“Yep.” Carol was still smiling.
“How did you get old man Grumps to go along with that idea?”
“I allowed him to do a demo for himself. After that he was all on board.”
“Wow.” Richard replaced his earplugs.