Batman Or School?

My 5-year-old nephew was visiting us today, first day of the half term break. He was keen to tell me about his new game for his Wii – Lego Batman. He was extremely pleased with himself because he had got to Level 5 but was having difficulty getting to Level 6. He then gave me a detailed and animated account of the game so far and more importantly what he thought he needed to do next to get to the next level (something to do with battle shields, I think!)

His resilience shone through as he catalogued what he had failed to do so far and what he intended to do next to overcome these failures. His problem solving skills were evident as he explained, in minute detail, what he thought he needed to do to get these battle shields and how he had come to this conclusion. His language skills were great as he recounted the adventure so far. He was obviously learning a great deal and having tremendous fun.

I then felt sorry for him, though I didn’t say so. Next Monday he goes back to school. Will he have this much fun – I doubt it. He certainly wont be problem solving at anywhere near this level nor being asked to recount such a complicated story. Those developing resilience skills will not be challenged to anywhere near the same level. His learning will ‘power down’ until he gets home again.

Marc Prensky in his book, ‘Don’t Bother Me Mom – I’m Learning’ says,

……it’s obvious that we are in the midst of a huge period of invention and innovation. Not so much by us, the Digital Immigrants, but by the Digital Natives for themselves. Our kids have recognised in this new digital technology an incredibly powerful tool, and they are making the most of it, using it in ways we can’t even imagine. So why not let them reinvent school?

Now, is that a frightening thought or an exciting one?

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About Mike

Now that I'm retired I have more time to devote to writing my blog and creating short stories.

One response to “Batman Or School?”

  1. Steve Westgarth says :

    I think you’re right in what you say Mike certainly we need to learn more from our children – I would still caution though that we can learn alot from experience even where technology is concerned.

    I visited Pompeii yesterday and was astounded to see how much technology the human race lost when the city was buried in 79 AD some of which it seems we are only rediscovering today.

    If we don’t get this balance of learning right I fear progression will be slow and we will find ourselves relearning skills in generations to come.

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