(image from “Reincarnating an Old Laptop as a Fridge Computer,” Samidh Chakrabarti)
An open question for you…
Visualize a school hallway. Better yet, peek out of your door and look at your school’s hallways. I’m willing to bet that you wouldn’t have to walk far to see your first piece of student work on a wall somewhere. In classrooms, libraries, hallways and common spaces, we post student work everywhere that we can. There are several reasons why we do this– off the top of my head:
- Celebrating student success
- Making learning visible
- Creating interest in visitors and other students
- Demonstrating what happens in classrooms
- It’s fun!
- Making useful resources (timelines, reference posters, etc.)
All of these are important, because they honor and validate student work. Just as families put good work up on the fridge or wall at home, we value students’ learning artifacts.
When those artifacts are visual, though, how do we value them? How do we honor them and give them a place of importance in our learning spaces? We can’t stick a website on the fridge, nor can we hang a movie in the library. If we want our students and teachers to value digital learning artifacts, don’t we have to be able to afford them the same role and (relative) permanence in our school as the physical posters, art projects, photographs, graphs and charts that we can use to line our halls? I’ve had very open-minded teachers say to me that they would love to make their project products more digital, but they want them to be on the walls so that everyone can see them. On the flip side, I’ve had great student work that I’d love to hold up as great examples of learning– except they can’t be held.
How can we turn a school from a display vehicle for physical learning artifacts into one for all learning? How do we share high-quality digital products with our community in a way that honors and values their work? What are our “digital fridges” upon which we can display great work?