Something interesting happened this week. I ‘broke up’ with the computer.
In class, I usually share examples of concepts from my trusty MacBook Pro. We listen to music and identify instruments using the projector, we read books and identify the essential messages within, we view chord tablatures, read lyrics and copy movements…. all while looking at the screen.
Before SARS-CoV-2, I rarely used my computer when teaching. I was hard-core, “hands-on” in my instruction. After COVID-19 hit our world, I learned to regard the computer as an appropriate distancing strategy. It felt alienating but necessary, a somewhat cold version of being warm-hearted. (Maybe it’s not that dramatic, but you get the idea…) Using the computer became the NEW WAY. It has been ‘THE’ way for the last 2 years. I almost didn’t realize it.
This week, I rejected it.
My class entered the room, and when I started turning on our new music, one of the kids said, “Do you want me to pull down the screen?” I responded: “No, …I would like to have our whole class period without using the computer or projector at all”. “Oh!, Old School”, another child said with a grin. It made me smile. I wasn’t thinking that leaving technology out of our learning time was “old school”. I immediately thought, …”What a clever opinion this 4th grader had in that very instant”. …..”Oh!, Old School”. ….Funny!
I’m sure that I’ll be back to using technology in class. Probably sooner than I want to. But for this week, I’m teaching “old school” and loving it.