Day 151 (of 184) engagement
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about student engagement and today a twitter/Facebook/blog combo hit me between the eyes (thanks @chriswejr & @shareski )
While I have previously blogged about student engagement looking different for each person (as recently as Day 147) and sometimes “staring out of a window” isn’t out of boredom but rather deep processing, the idea of ‘isolation’ is tricky when it comes to engagement.
As a personal example: there are times when my son has been ‘spoken to’ (not by me) for being on his iPod touch and my daughter has been praised for reading a book.
Both were disconnected from the ‘discussion’ that was taking place around them (topic was definitely not of interest to younger kids). One was using a traditional means of disconnecting (how many kids have you ‘caught’ reading a book in their lap hidden by the desk in front of them) while the other was using a ‘disruptive device’ (and for many, anything that they did not grow up with and were not familiar with is scary and different —> aka disruptive). One fit a social ‘norm’ (reading is good) while the other was pushing a paradigm (electronics are bad).
Both kids were ‘engaged’. My daughter can finish a book in a day. Any sized book. And her brain is always ‘on’ – synthesis is always happening. Connections, reading between the lines, etc – if there is a characteristic that you want to check about ‘a good reader’ that is her. My son was working on mine craft. Creating content. Not as common or traditional as accessing works other people have written.
One of my children was engaged in consuming content. The other in creating content. One was critiqued, the other praised. In my opinion though, the commentary could’ve easily been switched around….but social norms haven’t quite caught up to what ‘engagement’ can look like….
So when I am on my phone or iPad, am I playing a game, consuming content (got a lot of books on them) or creating content (twitter/blog)? Not as easy to tell as it was in the past with books & pens/pencils more clearly showing others what was being done. Be careful when making assumptions and get engaged!