Full STEAM ahead to Creation Station
Within my class are eighteen boys and nine girls. They range between eight and nine years of age. The ratio of boys to girls is unbalanced and has an impact on classroom culture and dynamics.
One thing that I have learnt with this particular group of students is they work best when they explore, construct and create. Many students enjoy opportunities where they can explore their artistic talents and creative abilities. Integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) improves student engagement. Once such learning was defined as Project Based Learning, however, upon deeper analysis one can conclude cross curriculum connections are being made.
Science allows students to investigate, test and improvise. Technology enables every individual to become an artist, musician and journalist. Engineering enables design and construction. Arts promotes creativity and Mathematics allows students to make calculated decisions regarding project design and execution throughout the learning process. Together they create 'STEAM'.
Technology can be a distraction, however, under the guidance of a skilled practitioner with specific goals and workflow definitions, technology can be a dynamic tool to achieve creative work and endless possibilities. It enables the convergence of subjects and learning areas, hence, labeled Blended Learning.
If teachers don't use mobile devices for what they are intended, students will use them for their own intent. I find behaviour issues dissipate and classroom learning is empowered when students create with technology and collaborate meaningfully with peers. Blended Learning is engaged learning. Maker Faire provides learning extension, addresses curriculum differentiation, develops sense of community and allows the STEAM to be applied within a valuable social learning context.
We should allow our classrooms to become a creation station to invigorate learning and allow students the opportunity to discover their hidden talents.
Full STEAM ahead!