The children in the classroom have been very interested in light and concepts related to light. We have noticed while using the flashlights that the children were interested in how they could move the light from one location to another. We wanted to expand on this idea and see what would happen if the children were introduced to a light beam they couldn't alter themselves.
We found a neat video of a laser show. During the video, the children were able to see laser beams that changed. The colors changed, the amount of laser beams shown changed throughout the video, and the pattern and direction of the light changed also. We wanted to see how the children would react to this since they themselves would not be able to change how the light was moving – they would just be able to respond to what they saw.
At first we tried the video on the large projector and showed the children on the wall. The children seemed interested in the video but their attention did not last as long as we would have liked. We think maybe since they have seen images and videos on the large projector in the past possible the novelty has worn off.
We then tried the video on the laptop in our classroom. This was much more interesting for the children and adults alike. The children began to trace their fingers on the screen along the beams. We wonder if they were trying to feel the beams or if they thought they could alter the direction and motion of the beams with their fingers, like with an IPad. Their engagement was sustained for a very long time and the children were much more engaged in how the light was moving. We also think that when the children saw the video on the computer the images were more clear and more engaging.
It might be interesting to see how the children would react to something on the IPad that they would be able to alter themselves. We would like to explore this avenue with them and see what they think.