Sunday, February 28, 2010

Making Make Believe & Technology

This week I've thought a lot about make believe. I read a very interesting chapter from the book The House of Make-Believe written by the Singers (who provided research for the Barney television show). It provided me with a lot of great information that will certainly be part of my literature review on interactive television including the importance of auditory clues for young television viewers. This will also come in handy as I prepare my production project.
As I read about make believe and how people are replicating the experience of make believe for children on television, I compared some of their findings with my experiences teaching kindergarten. In some regards, I feel as if I had my most successful week teaching this past week. I introduced the yoga curriculum on Wednesday. As I lead the children through a series of breathing and slow movement exercises, I tell them a story. The story is intended to focus them and help them visualize how some of the movements should look. For example, we rode a camel and straightened our back and rounded our back. This week, I also brainstormed a new dramatic play scenario with some of the children. We decided to play in a submarine and made our own submarine out of large wooden blocks. We had a secret latch, residential quarters, captain chairs for the people navigating, and water-proof walkie talkies so we can communicate while exploring the sea around us. I honestly had such a fun and fast choice time that day! I forgot how enjoyable it was to build a "fort" of sorts and make believe that you really are these characters. I felt so happy and proud that I could help facilitate that experience.
I thought back to when I began teaching this fall and how excited I was to incorporate technology into the classroom. However now, I wonder if it really has a place in the classroom. All of these children spend time at home on websites such as PBS Kids. They are learning how to navigate the Internet before they learn how to read. As an educator, I wonder if technology in the classroom hinders their ability and their time to make believe. Perhaps the classroom is a place for this generation to escape technology. Perhaps it is the place where we can preserve a child's play in its rarest forms. These are things I am continuing to think about.

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