Some Say They Are Too Young, I Say, "Trust Them…"

My kids being kids

Even though my fifth graders may beg to differ, they are just kids. Wonderful, young, impressionable things, eager to change the world, kids that have lived a little and still have much to learn. They are young, indeed, but passionate, open, and never ever afraid of a challenge. And yet most just see their age, their made by date, and definitely their grade level.  So should I be surprised when critics claim they are too young for more advanced technology? That serious use of technology shouldn’t really start until middle school, that fifth grade is just too early?

I suppose I could be upset at statements that try to limit what my students are capable of.  I suppose I should fire back with witty sarcasm or scathing words. I suppose I should bring that anger home and fume over peoples’ assumptions. But I don’t, at least not anymore. Instead I plot and plan, I reach out to those who have great ideas and I get really really stubborn. We shall show them after all.

So when some think Prezi is too hard for ten year olds we prove it is not. Or when people are not sure that my students should blog because what could they possibly have to share, we become role models for others. Flip video cameras may have been killed off but in our classroom the students grab them whenever they get a chance to document their learning. PowerPoint becomes an entry point into creation with other possibilities beckoning us further.

They may be young my students, but they are not afraid. So tell us we cannot do something, or even better, tell us that we are really too young to figure it out, and I will show you 22 students that disagree. I will show you 22 students that cannot wait to prove you wrong, after all, you wouldn’t be the first.

2 thoughts on “Some Say They Are Too Young, I Say, "Trust Them…"

  1. I've been working with fourth graders this year (part of coaching) and that's the barrier I get: these kids can't blog, they can't use Tumblr for vocabulary, they can't use Prezi, they can't edit videos. And yet, they do. Not because they are digital natives, but because they are not afraid to make mistakes.

  2. I think that's my problem. I am afraid of making mistakes that hinder student learning, so I don't always give my ideas much of a chance. My new goal for next year…try more tech!As always, Mrs. Ripp, love reading about your ideas and the wonderful environment you create for your students!

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