In that time, “play” as well as technology’s role in the classroom has changed, a lot! Education has typically been one teacher as the “holder of the knowledge” and the pupils with the need for that knowledge coming from their instructor as well as textbooks. Technology has shifted the way this looks. Teachers are able to serve in a role that resembles more of a guide or mentor. We still use textbooks, but now both teachers and students have an amazing tool at their fingertips to access information on any topic they can think of!
Technology comes with challenges as well. Some of the issues that I have witnessed as a teacher in a 2nd grade classroom includes attention issues and lack of motivation when a direct lesson must be taught. But the flip side of that is children are very motivated when technology is integrated into their learning and their day. Anything from an educational phonics game, math drills, all the way to learning how to code, children love being able to use the same tools they use for fun at home, to learn.
Educators know that through play, children learn many of the necessary skills for life. From taking turns, learning how to share, playing fairly and developing motor skills, play is essential to the proper development and growth of a child. Plus, it’s just FUN! A few items that have been really fun to use in my own classroom with children are Bloxels and Boogie Boards. Bloxels is good for math workshop where they build their own video game. The Boogie Boards are an absolute favorite of mine. Because they are so versatile, my students are able to use them in a variety of different ways. From practicing spelling words to quizzing each other on math facts, they’ve became a hit very quickly!