Will Siftables Become a New Tool in Schools?

11 Dec

I was really intrigued to see this TED video featuring David Merrill who introduced Siftables. While I am sure these little blocks can be used for many things, he focused on using it in education, which as a future educator was really enlightening. I am always intrigued to learn about new tools that I could potentially use in my future classroom, as students really love to use technology and often thrive when using technology. Granted, this seems to be still in the development phase, it was certainly something to look forward to and support as I thought it was a great concept and seemed to show a lot of the benefits and really took into consideration all the new findings in education.

Technology is highly used in schools today and students genuinely get excited when something is hands-on and involves some sort of technology. Certainly this is very innovative and it is taking something that could have been rather boring, like going over math problems or creating words, and making it something that would be intriguing for students and children. What I liked about the Siftables was that it was so interactive and that it really gave instant results. Our brains today race all over and students really need to have instant answers.

In my education classes, I always learn about children becoming the leaders of their own learning, also known as student-centered learning. By using the Siftables, children are really taking that control. This was exemplified in the section, where the little boy was basically creating his own story. By making all the characters interact and having different objects come through the screen, this little boy was creating something that he may not have even intended, but was certainly in charge of his learning. There would have to be some sort of guidance or help in the beginning, but children nowadays really pick up on things quickly. Pretty soon, children really work alone and will work through problems and scenarios on their own, further showing their role as a leader in their learning.

I was also intrigued that Siftables can be used through a variety of subjects. When thinking about a standard classroom, there are many old-fashioned materials that perhaps can only work with a few subjects. But this really pertains to so many different subjects, which really helps different types of learners and will help enforce their interests as well as helping with specific needs.

Many of the activities shown in the video were geared towards younger children and I was very intrigued to see how this could be used with older children. It seemed like all the stories were showing a lot of introductory information and I would be interested to see what other things Merrill has planned for this technology.  If this were available on the market, I would definitely try to get some for my classroom.




2 Responses to “Will Siftables Become a New Tool in Schools?”

  1. kellyr14 December 13, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    I agree that Siftables would be great for young children. Instead of writing boring math problems by hand, they can use the Siftables to rearrange the numbers in any way they want. It could really benefit children who need a hands-on approach to learning.

    • caittwills December 18, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

      These things are totally wild. I dont even understand it! haha. But, yes, i agree. These would be great for younger children. I think i am too stuck in my ways to learn what to do with them, but that doesnt mean that younger children cannot benefit from that hands on learning. This is so great. I hope one day my children can use these.

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