Thursday, April 22, 2010

Step Aside

We are all guilty of it. Whether we are parents, teachers, presenters, etc. we have all done it. I know that I am guilty of it and am learning from my errors with a new focus on what is important, stepping aside, and keeping it in perspective.

When we adults prepare for a presentation of any sort we want it to look G-O-O-D. We want it perfect. Colors, graphics, audio, spelling - everything should shine. And now with all the creation tools that are available in the school setting we are asking for students to create too. When we see what they make we are so proud of their work that we want to share it with others - to publish their work globally. That is when we start meddling too much. I think educators and parents need to remember whose work it actually is. If using something child made, that end result should look like a child's work - glitches, over the top animation, etc. If your own child needs to create for a school project be aware that it screams "Parents helped!" if it is polished too the point that edges are cut beautiful, colors all match, etc. And as you help look to see what interaction the child has during the creation of the project. Is he/she sitting there annoying you because he/she wants to do something while you do it all? Or is he/she the leader in creating it while you sit back and help lead him/her to an end product?

I believe that it is time for teachers and adults to step aside and allow for student creations to look like the creation is done on that age level. Embrace the silliness, the errors, the crinkled mess, and allow them to own their work. They will stand taller, feel the accomplishment, and have that experience to grow and use later in life.

1 comment:

  1. I agree to a point. I don't think we should meddle in their work. Depending on age, though, I think we should brief them on what works well for a presentation. If a kid tries to present a PowerPoint, for example, and there are 6 animations on each slide, crazy changing backgrounds, neon yellow font on a white background that can't be read, size 6 font to fit 3 pages of info on one slide, etc... no one is going to pay any attention to them since they won't be able to focus. All we can do though is give them the tools and let them run with it. We can't try to limit creativity by restricting them our own lens of what looks good.


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