Saturday, January 24, 2009

Another Example of Why We Don't Have to "Teach Tech"

I remember reading this post on Melanie Holtsman's blog called "Why am I Surprised?" about how her 5 year-old twins had playfully and independently discovered text-messaging each other with pictures. Digital Natives? 
It's obvious that children approach technology with no fear and a spirit of exploration while some adults are still having trouble getting into the head-space required to really have fun with it.
So here's my example. While I am not surprised, I am pleased and impressed with both the process and the product. I'm going to share one of the little movies my 8 year-old daughter has created while playing on WebKinz. In case you have been living under a rock for a while WebKinz is a virtual world for kids. You must buy a little, stuffed animal in the real world in order to get a code that allows you to adopt the pet in the WebKinz world. Both my kids love WebKinz. They earn money, buy and sell stuff, cook, feed their pets, search for gems, spin the Wheel of Wow, play games, decorate rooms, even watch virtual television. It is extremely safe, creative, engaging, and in my own humble opinion (disagreed with by some), educational. 
One recent morning my daughter was especially engaged in something in the WebKinz World. She didn't want to stop to eat breakfast. When I went to see what she was doing, I thought I'd find her playing a game, but she showed me that she was making a movie. Turns out she bought a movie camera (for 1000 Kinzcash) and, all on her own, with no instruction or previous movie-making experience, was creating digital stories. 

I know, I know....I'm the mom! But, I am pretty impressed with how she came up with the story so quickly and used the different faces of the characters to show the emotions as the story progressed. 

P.S. I used Jing to capture the movie.


Anonymous said...

Wow, this is impressive! I've read a ton about Webkinz, but haven't explored it yet. My kids are too young to be online yet, but I'm unsure of how I'm going to deal with a lot of the issues - time limits, etc - that will surely come up at that time. Sounds like your daughter has picked up some of your techno skills!

Andrea said...

Isn't it cute?! She has definitely picked up on my tech interest/skills. You'll deal with the issues as they arise, I'm sure (as we all do). I think WebKinz is great.

Billgx said...

My daughter loves Webkinz too, but hasn't found the video making yet. I'll have to tell her to keep an eye out for it.

Thanks for sharing this!