The Case Against High Tech Crafts

Your school just got a new batch of technology and you’re feeling the pressure to integrate it into your practice. You have a look online for some tutorials and you think “presto!” You finish the lesson and you ask your students a simple question: what did you learn? More often than not you’ll find that all they learned was how to follow instructions, but they haven’t created any in depth connections that are so important. 

What is a high tech craft? 

Crafts are great! But oftentimes when students do one, we end up with a class full of the exact same thing. A high tech craft is any activity you undertake where students follow step-by-step instructions and students have no opportunities to customize, explore, or think about their creations. Examples of these can be building a robot, coding a video game in Scratch, or creating a step counter with Micro:bit.

Creating Room to Think

As teachers, we have to strike a balance between introducing new concepts to students and giving them time to practice. This is more important than ever when we’re talking about iSTEAM concepts. For example, rather than telling students you’re going to code a video game, have students take a second to think about which video games they liked best, and dissect why they liked them. As you teach them how to use loops, variables, and booleans, you can show them how to apply it to a video game, and encourage them to create their own. 

Platforms to consider

There’s platforms that are fantastic for educators that want to give students the ability to engage their creativity. Makey-Makey’s allow students to create their own instruments, game controllers, and more. Flexible platforms such as Minecraft allow students to explore and create their own versions of worlds, and even platforms like Roblox can be really helpful for students because they are built with customization at their core. 

Final thoughts

High tech crafts do have a place. If you want to demonstrate a technology, get kids excited, or if you just don’t have the time to dedicate to something, then you might consider using a high tech craft. However, they should be the exception and not the rule, and students should get opportunities to use their own creativity and showcase their critical thinking skills. 



– Lucy


Did you know Coded Minds is a pioneer in iSTEAM and one of the first companies to integrate it into their learning objectives and educational programs? To enrol your child in iSTEAM learning or learn how to integrate iSTEAM into your educational program or curriculum, CLICK HERE.


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