Neatly sealed up tech really annoys me…

Over the last few years of working as a computing specialist I’ve started to break more and more things. Sometimes my Head gets slightly annoyed at me breaking everything, but I keep telling him it’s all in the name of education!

I don’t want to sound like a grumpy old man, but these days new technology comes sealed tight. There is no way to take the back off your phone, or your the only thing that comes off your laptop is the battery. ‘Back in my day’ we could take it all apart and clip it all back together again! I remember changing parts on my old PC tower, and being able to get into the guts of my phone to see what was happening. I tinkered, and explored, and played with tech. Not just the software but the hardware too. You can see this reflected in my classroom too, there are bits and pieces all over the place that I’ve taken apart and bodged back together with something else.

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This outlook and ethos on tech is something that I wanted the kids to experience more in my classroom. Things like iPads and laptops are so expensive for our parents that I’m sure they’d be grounded until 2030 if they took something apart at home though. So in the classroom we’ve started to take everything we can get our hands on apart. A safe space for destruction! Down in the storage rooms we have old PC’s that we’ve completely ripped apart. The kids loved it and were able to see the basics of the hardware and start to understand what they do. I’ve started to take other bits apart too with the kids. I recently found an old iPod classic that I destroyed. The thing the kids got from that was how similar it was to a computer, but in a tiny space. Great thinking!

If you click here it should be a link that takes you to a Sway I created on the internal parts of a PC. The language is aimed at KS2 pupils, so easy for them to follow as they break up your old desktops!

I really would recommend this to anyone. My next plan is to take apart an iPad that’s already broken, though it’s a bit tricky with the iPad 2’s apparently. We’ve also had a look at a monitor too, and the kids want to see what’s inside it. There is also the putting it back together again afterwards. Normally we can get the computers working again, but the iPod died a death!

The key to it is getting the kids to the think ‘How does that work?’. If they can carry on that thinking in all areas of education, or even at home, then the learning is going to be ace!

What should we rip apart next?! Any ideas? Anyone with something lying and round and broken want to donate something cool for us to break!?

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