Below are a few thoughts from Shabelee Bowie, a Discovery Guide from Children’s Museum of Houston who has moved on to pursue a different career path. However, before she left, she wanted to share her experience with 21-Tech and what she has learned:
“What I’ve learned through 21-Tech has been that creativity exists through electronics. I didn’t grow up around too much technology, but I always enjoyed doing crafty things. 21-Tech is basically the “crafty” aspect of technology that the museum has brought in to engage the new generation. I refer to it as crafty because you can tangibly do something with it. Technology can be/has been used as a tool just like paper, scissors or string, to create an image. Through the many apps, I’ve learned that learning doesn’t only happen behind a school desk or in front of a PowerPoint screen, but it can happen through apps as well. It seems like using an iPad instead of a chalkboard can be a little more fun too. Oh wait…do these kids even know what a chalkboard is?
“What I struggled with in 21-Tech was being able to be creative through technology. I didn’t struggle with how to use the iPad or understanding the apps, but simply being able to sit down with a kid and navigate the iPad through an interaction was sometimes difficult for me. However, this is exactly where I learned that being creative through digital technology is possible.
“My advice for 21-Tech is to expand this program into the community. Inform families that technology isn’t just something you give to your kid when they’re having a fit in the store, but that it’s a great source for learning. If kids watch TV 24/7 or love to be on the iPad 24/7, there are educational games for them to engage in rather than playing mindless video games which can affect cognitive development, especially if exposed to at a very young age.”
~ Shabelee Bowie