Storytelling Our Way to Better Comprehension

Superhero Dave

I’m thinking I was probably around 6 or 7 when I began to daydream about my superpowers — where I transported myself to a make-believe world filled with possibilities. I opened my superpowers through an invisible control panel in front of me using buttons and secret codes that gave me those amazing abilities. As an added bonus these powers came with all sorts of cool sound effects.

One of my favourite powers was being able to fly effortlessly around the neighbourhood in search of crime or people in distress. While I didn’t have a name for my new superhero alter-ego, he was able to do these incredible things and make the world a better place. He was cool.

Dave – probably around age 6 or 7

Stories, whether they are true or fictional, paint a vivid picture for your audience that are often filled with adventure, emotions and possibilities. Imagine how excited I was as a kid to occasionally live in this world of make-believe. My guess is that you might have a similar story from your childhood — a time when you imagined the impossible as possible.

The Struggle is Real

A typical moment in my professional life:

I’m at my desk deep in thought — maybe it’s a budget issue, perhaps a community concern, or maybe an organizational dilemma that needs a creative solution. I’m stuck.

It can feel like my brain’s gears are seized or conversely like my wheels are spinning in mud — it’s an immovable tension of struggling to find a solution.

Neuroscientists have learned that the act of struggling is actually an important part of the learning process. Struggling with a problem results in increased neural connections being formed in your brain. The act of struggling forces your brain to develop new networks — bridging the old to the new.

Does Technology Inhibit Positive Classroom Relationships?

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you will recall that I’m a big fan of taking risks to make things better in our classrooms and schools. How better to show my belief in this statement than me writing about technology in our schools. It’s hard to find a more polarizing issue in the world of public education.

So, let me put it right out front — I believe in the power of technology to make a difference in student learning. Full stop.

I view technology as that tool that makes curriculum accessible to more children in more ways than if we didn’t have it available. Some examples that come to mind include:

  • e-resources that can be adapted to varying reading levels making curricular content more accessible;
  • reading intervention software that helps build neural pathways to strengthen the reading centers in the brain;
  • math programs that provide just the right amount of practice to master basic skills before moving to the next topic