Tomis, thank you for the detailed write up and for sharing Bear’s blog. His writing really resonates with me.
I believe that technology is powerful and that we can powerfully use it. The key to me is to help keep kids mindful of how they use it and to remember that they are not victims of technology. They can choose how they engage it with it, and with the support of facilitators at school who are also mindful in how they use it, I believe we are holding for a space where we can exist with technology and a mindful use of it. The pendulum may swing back and forth a bit, but the ALFs that are at school daily have conversations with the kids that promotes mindful use of computers, and we ourselves have healthy relationships with it.
I’ve always believed that any tool can be used and perceived however we choose to use and perceive it.
That said, I also believe that we, as adults in the space, operate most effectively if we have strong relationships with kids. Part of this is to see each child and understand their processing order. I learned about this from @artbrock at ALF Summer 2014.
Everyone responds to new information with 3 processes: “Think” “Do” and “Feel.” Some people think first when encountering something new, then move on to processing how they feel about, and then act (d0). This processing order is the one that most successful students in the dominant paradigm possess. The most awkward processing order comes when you have people who “Do” first as an automatic response before they then move on to thinking or feeling. They actually use the experience of doing to then reflect and think and feel about. This can be awkward because it may lead them to do things that are not great for others around them…it can also lead to the most unique discoveries and achievements.
I add this tidbit of info here because I’m noticing how our “Weekly Sprints” in ALCs actually serve to help the kids that might be “do” first kids.
I’ve watched in the free school model last year kids continually doing things that don’t serve them, but they can’t think of another way. Getting kids to buy into trying out a new way of doing something for a week isn’t too much to ask of them, and then, after DOING something different for a week, they might then have the experience and context to think about if this different choice actually feels good to them.
This is why I’m excited that we got the kids to buy into trying out a different way to do videogames at school for a week. Then we can gather and hear from them how it felt AFTER experiencing something different. They might have more to say about how they want it look and try out something different next week. The point is that they are empowered to have input into their relationship with videogames in particular and have adult support to try out different ways of engaging with it with real reflections based in their own experiences.