Looking for something that can snap your young students out of the monotony of everyday classroom activities? This post may be what you were looking for to give you ideas for classroom tools.
Remember the rotary phone? How about the huge computer monitors of the 80s? Or the early 90s printers? Those items are still around, only now we call them, well… trash. And haven’t you always had the fantasy of bringing trash into your classroom activities? Well, you should!
Introducing old technology to a modern classroom can be a fascinating experience. New technology is slowly, but surely, making its way into classrooms across the United States. Some schools will get it before others, some will reject it completely and rely on blackboard and chalk, and some schools will force parents to shell out a significant amount of money to help their kids keep up with the Joneses.
Old technology, however, is accessible to many populations, and it can inspire young minds as much as modern technology. In some cases more so, because of its historical meaning and ancient mechanisms.
Old electronic items, such as personal computers, stereos, and video cassette recorders, can be a hit with every class they are brought into. These devices may be junk now, but they used to be full of life. Rediscover that old-time simplicity of analog video tapes or transistor radios. You don’t have to be an electrician to appreciate the intricate work that goes into producing an electric device.
Once the items are in your possession, it is time for some classroom reverse engineering and creative classroom management. Pair up, or split into groups. Take apart a piece of machinery, learn about its different pieces (or hypothesize as to their appropriate functionality), and have some fun with old technology.
These “reverse engineering” type of classes are opening up the minds of a whole new generation of young students. These classes can then take effect outside of the class, and change the way these children read, write, and solve problems. Giving students the chance to let their academic hair down and explore older technology on their own can have immediate and positive effects. It can aid critical thinking, self-reliance, and it can help keep the brain on its proverbial toes. It is a way to promote discussion and social bonding within the classroom, and it never stops being fun.
Because this has to do with using electronic devices in the class, safety precautions must be adhered to. Talk to your students before the class, and make sure they understand that things of such nature can be dangerous when misused. Furthermore, be careful to rid of the older machines properly, and send them to a designated recycling facility.
Sometimes, one class like the one I described above can make a whole difference in that day or week. It promotes creativity unlike anything else they may have had in their classroom. Be sure to check it out, and make an attempt. If you want to start such a class but are unsure how, you can ask students’ parents for any electronic tools and machine they aren’t using.
Today’s technology is advancing too rapidly to keep up with, anyway. So, why not take a step back and appreciate what we once had? It can be fun for educators and students alike.