Alexandria Online

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Excellence of Sledding

We allow our kids to sled during recess. (I hope our lawyer is not reading this blog.) The Episcopal Academy, in a moment of undiluted genius, bought about 50 cheap, plastic sleds. Pretty much all day I have watched these disciplined, private school kids march up the steps without pushing, stand in line at the top of the hill, and careen down the hill screaming. This is educational technology at work.

Before you put thirty thousand dollars into a laptop cart full of macs, consider buying a set of cheap plastic sleds.


  1. Just be sure there aren't any trees at the base of the hill!

  2. Indeed. Sledding accidents abound.

    We have sports-related injuries at school and we accept the risk. There is a big difference though: structured sports have known risks and the players are skilled and know what to expect in the action. Sledding is something we do infrequently, on different slopes, and under different weather conditions. Much more unpredictable.

    John McPhee wrote a great piece in the New Yorker about 20 years ago about being a kid and learning to play in overturned canoes -- going underneath, popping up on the other side, swamping, flipping and righting them. Later, as an adult, he found himself trapped under a capsized canoe in a powerful current. Because he was familiar with the situation, he was able to relax, travel along with the canoe, and eventually slip out from under it.