Social Skills and Technology in the Classroom

May 6, 2013 at 11:04 am Leave a comment

By Amelia Clune , 2011

I have been thinking recently about how new technologies are changing the way individuals socialize, particularly the parallels between the ways in which children enjoy interacting in the classroom and the way adolescents and adults are interacting “virtually”.

A few nights ago I had dinner with a family which included two children in their teenage years (one a seventh grader, and the other an eleventh grader). While eating, and throughout the course of the meal, the siblings were on their iPhones. When queried about why it was necessary to continue this activity during the meal, the boy responded: “What?! I’m a very social person.” This admission was certainly not in line with what I might define as “social” (as he was not talking to his family or the guests), but he saw his actions as social, and this is in and of itself interesting.
He was using an iPhone application called Draw Something 2, an immensely popular program which allows one to draw something, and then to share it with a virtual “friend”. Thereafter, the friend is able to see not only the finished product, but also the drawing process. I believe herein lies the appeal of the activity. This practice imitates the activities of an art class, in other words, the process of creating art can instantly be shared with a “friend”: it is one thing to look at works of art, but it is altogether a different experience watching art being created.
While by no means was this child, nor his friends, creating pieces of fine art, they were redefining the concept of “socializing” by sharing their art-making process.
The classroom is a place to test out ideas, and to “practice” them among supportive peers and teachers. This is why the terms “workshop,” “writing process,” “cycle of inquiry,” in their “interactivity,” appeal to educators and can be used to describe lesson structures and pedagogical approaches. Learning is a process, and the classroom is a social space; technology is capitalizing on this through its innovative use of sharing the “process” rather than simply the product (which by itself would not be as nearly interesting,) and in doing so helps develop social skills that contribute to building relationships.
As the twelve-year old proudly displayed his latest on-screen illustration, he confessed that through watching his friends his “skills have grown quite a bit”. As educators, we need to continue to revisit this the notion of “process” over product, and collaboration over competition. “Dewey asserts that all human experience is social and involves contact and communication,” learning therefore mandates socializing. As educators, we may facilitate the development of these innate skills by incorporating them more consciously and transparently in the classroom.

Visit Amelia’s blog: http://ameliaclune.blogspot.com/2013/05/learning-how-to-learn.html

Entry filed under: classroom management, classrooms, curriculum, social-emotional learning, technology, Tips for Teachers. Tags: , .

Volunteer Tutoring Opportunity for Alumni Clean Energy Opportunity for Alumni

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


An Online Conversation

Join the conversation among Bank Street College alumni blogging on education policy, practice, and point of view. Explore issues, ask questions, share what's actually happening in our classrooms, schools, museums, and communities. To submit a post, please send it to: alumni@bankstreet.edu.

Your Voice

Post your own opinions about teaching, learning, children, politics, special education, school reform, play, the standards movement, student teaching, museum education, leadership, block building, morning meeting, curriculum mapping, collaboration, isolation, benchmarks, bilingual classrooms, social-emotional development, the arts...right here on The Bank Street Blog!

To leave a comment on a posting, please click on the "comment" link beside the posting date. Comments will be reviewed before they appear.

Archives

Feeds

Some of Our Past Bloggers

Alisa Algava ‘08, leader of a small Hudson Valley progressive school
Gloria Arenson ’58, psychotherapist
Bill Ayers ‘84, UIC professor, Chicago
Fred Baumgarten ‘84, writer/musician/naturalist/father
Keith Berman '03, founder/president of Options for College and Bank Street’s LinkedIn moderator
David Bowles ’08 (SFC ’93), museum educator at the Rubin Museum of Art
Elena Canaras ‘07, Special Education teacher, Hawaii
Virginia Casper, Bank Street faculty member
Jim Clay ‘88, director of a Washington DC Quaker preschool
Mary DeCamp Cotterall ‘87, Reading Specialist, Michigan
Judy Coven ’77, retired public school teacher and former Antioch University faculty member
Leslie Day '93, adjunct instructor at Bank Street and author of Field Guide to the Natural World of New York City
Mary Louise (Molly) Day ‘76, Lab School teacher, Chicago
Liezel de La Isla ‘99, Prague International School teacher
Diane Trister Dodge '70, founder and president of Teaching Strategies, Inc.
Meghan Dunn ’08, 3rd grade teacher, Brooklyn
Steven Evangelista ’01, co-director Harlem Link Charter School, NYC
Janine Fetters ‘02, Senior Associate of Parent Engagement at NACCRRA
Dena Florczyk '88, middle school teacher and founder/director of The Nigerian School Project
Hollee Freeman '94, writes about parenting issues for the alumni blog and was featured on BSCAA's April 2012 Career Panel
Ellen Galinsky '70, is President and Co-Founder of Families and Work Institute and author of Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs
Joanne Ruvolo Gannett ‘84, Columbia College art history professor, Chicago
Joan Goldstein ‘67, sociologist and educator
Margot Hammond, Director of the Center for Early Childhood Professionals
Carol Hillman ‘67, early childhood educator, author, and Long Trip co-leader
Pam Jones ‘05, Bank Street advisor and instructor
Lee Klinger Lesser ‘87, trainer for the Parent Services Project
Preminda Langer ‘97, teacher trainer
Claire Milam ’97, life coach, Austin, Texas
Rabin Nickens ‘03, Speaker, Trainer and Educational Consultant
Beth Norford ‘89, consultant and former School for Children teacher
Susy Ogden ‘97
Marion Palm ‘95, Leadership in the Arts alum, writing tutor, poet and singer
Jessica Poser, assistant professor of art education at UIC, Chicago
Jesse Pugh '76, BSCAA President
Meg Rauen ‘06, former Chicago elementary school teacher, NY
Linda Reing, Bank Street Director of Alumni Relations
Rosalind Rothman '62, retired NYC teacher and guidance counselor
Kyla Ryman '92/'97, educational coach and consultant
Ariel Sacks ‘06, middle school teacher, Brooklyn, NY
Linda Appleman (Guidall) Shapiro ‘81, psychotherapist and author
Barbara Silver ‘80, literacy consultant and former NYC first grade teacher
Andrea Penny Spencer, former Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Bank Street
Debbie Stone ‘84, former teacher/co-director of High Valley School
Rachel Theilheimer ‘74, chair of teacher education at BMCC/CUNY
Theodore Timpson ’05, founder/president of Young Spirit Foundation
Eleanor Traubman '95, is Editor in Chief of Creative Times, a blog which promotes NYC's performing, visual and literary arts
Allison Warren '08, new mom, recent grad, and early childhood teacher
Max Weinberg ‘03, Francis Parker School teacher, Chicago
Ted Wells ‘07, 4th grade teacher at The Park School, Brookline, MA
Tracy Wiessbrod ’03, kindergarten teacher and stay-at-home mom

%d bloggers like this: