Kids have to keep playing
Tips for Home Studying from Italy: 17. Between school and game.
Daily pills to help students (and families) organize their study in Covid-19 times, when almost one billion children have seen their schools close. Signed by Marcello Bramati and Lorenzo Sanna, deans and teachers at Faes High schools in Milan. As reported by Time magazine, they are teaching online during the lockdown, in an ongoing experiment in remote learning. Every morning at 8.30 a.m., their advice, tips and good practices for students of all ages.
Especially at primary school, game is an essential horizon of growth. This is true not only for the break, but also for the many dimensions of learning. By playing with the teacher and by playing with their classmates, young students learn, grow up and discover friends, talents and passions. At school, didactics is closely intertwined with playful moments.
Now the children are locked in their bedrooms, upset and bored, divided between the hallway, the living room and the kitchen. The schoolbreak belongs to a more and more remote time. Classmates, friends and teachers are reduced to a square in a screen. All of the sudden, kids end up using grown-up tools, like a tablet, a pc, a printer, a drive folder.
Remote learning breaks into everyday life and the child is obliged to give up raising his hand. All of the sudden, he finds himself interacting with an electronical device, connecting to a video call, turning on and off the microphone.
At this point, he almost finds himself catapulted into an office. He learns adult tools: he attaches files, he learns the functions of Google, he discovers Meet, Calendar and Drive. He knows how to print, to copy, to paste, to edit, to share, to open and to use an email box. He had just almost learnt how to write, punctual and tidy, in his diary. And now the diary appears outdated by the virtual folders on the pc.
All of the sudden, the child acts as a grown-up, he finds out he is a big student, but in the meantime he continues to be a child and to live the new experience as a game, pretending to be an adult. It's up to parents to cultivate the unique interaction between school and game, using the new devices to keep alive the sense of playing, between fantasy, discovery and creativity. Using chess, magazines, comics, novels. Because by continuing to play, our kids continue to learn.