In a discipline such as Family and Consumer Sciences where every concept is connected to real life and the majority of lessons can be hands-on, it’s hard to know where to incorporate digital learning. Yet, in this discipline it is highly important because students are going to leave their devices out of budgeting, recipe finding, child care, or fashion design. Their devices will actually be the most vital tool they have in those actions! So the teaching of FACS must find ways to incorporate the tools our students will really use in the adult world.
When thinking of Personal Financial Responsibility, there are a great number of tools that can be incorporated and used. They can be as simple as using the H&R Block Dollars and Sense teen learning module to evaluate paychecks, learn about budgeting, and learn how to save early. Incorporation can also be as intensive as using the Banzai financial literacy modules. These modules run students through many real life scenarios to teach about insurance, stocks, savings, and what happens when life happens.
Similarly, Child Development and Advanced Child Development can discover many nuances about growing children and the development they go through. Starting in the unit covering pregnancy and bodily changes, students can work with apps like What To Expect: Daily Tracker to see what help these apps can offer women in the various stages. There are many apps that can cover the development of children as well, such as looking at intellectual development boosters like Starfall (which teaches phonics and math to preschoolers) and Fun Brain Jr. (which can help with motor development and reading).
Finally, in the intensively hands-on course like Fashion and Textiles or Nutrition and Wellness, there are a plethora of apps that can be utilized and videos that can help to understand concepts. Budding fashion designers can use Flat Design to create unique outfits, and in turn they can find ways to create patterns to make those outfits in lab! With the Nutrition Classes, it is easy and simple to turn a smartphone into a wellness tool using apps like Supertracker to watch calories, vitamins, exercise, and more. There are even apps that will tell you how many calories, nutrients, fats, and sugars are in the lab food simply by inputting the ingredients!
In a digital world, it may seem like the simple skills are getting overlooked. However, in the classes of Family and Consumer Sciences students can learn how to gain those simple skills using the digital tools already in their hands!
Shannon Taylor is a first year Family and Consumer Sciences teacher at Pike High School. She grew up in the southwest in Los Alamos, NM (home of the atomic bomb and three national science laboratories). For most of her life, she strived to become an entrepreneur and restaurant owner. After spending 20 years in the restaurant business and not quite finding what she wanted, Shannon decided to pursue teaching. A long road that travelled through IUPUI and Purdue eventually ended last May when she graduated with distinction and joined the Pike family. Shannon is married and has three fur-children, including a new 5-month-old addition named Logan. Her family lives here in Indianapolis near the Speedway and the whole family are Indy Car fans. Her hobbies include Marvel comics (movies and books), camping and hiking, 90’s TV shows, and fun games like Magic the Gathering and Pokemon Go!.