I wasn’t going to blog today. I was going to spend the evening reading Saenz’s He forgot to say goodbye (Thanks, Susan!!) so that I could finish one more book this week for a whopping grand total of two books in one week. But, something has been brewing and I need to blog it not because I’ve reached resolution, but, well I’d love to have some discussion, but well… we’ll see what happens.
Health teachers are requiring current events again and I know because students are asking for newspapers. The assignment has to do with finding a recent newspaper article and clipping it from the paper. Another teacher let me know students would be stopping by for magazines so that they could clip articles for a file. Neither of these teachers allows students to print articles from online sources. In finding these articles, he felt they would run across other articles they would also stop and read. Accessibility will be an issue because I don’t subscribe to many magazines and they may not get them at home.
I want to react in some way to these assignments that ignore the vast resources on the Internet that would not only include a plethera of articles, but would allow students to collect,share, discuss and research these articles in a much more contemporary fashion. RSS feeds could be collected on Newser, PageFlakes or Google Reader. Reader’ comments would expand the original story. There are so many ways students could be engaged in technologies which are so much more meaningful to them and to the 21st century work space!! And they may end up suffering from information overload!
I keep telling myself baby steps. Like students can afford us to take babysteps!! Marginalized students need to be over-prepared for the workforce!
I keep telling myself it’s not about the technology, it’s about the skills that are necessary for success beyond high school. I look back at my own education, that which my brother sister and I all received. We weren’t taught with, by or about computers except the abacus because that’s all that existed. What we were taught was how to adapt. Somehow, our ‘old’ selves have been able to incorporate technology tools into our lives. We’re able to intuit new softwares and even my sister figured our her iPhone (my sister is an amazing woman, she just avoids technology). If we’re teaching students to hang on to print resources are we teaching them to adapt? Are we teaching them that the world is about change and that educated people respect and embrace change? I’m thinking that the students are going to have to teach us to adapt. They’re going to have to teach us how to use the technologies in meaningful ways, let us know it’s OK to change and they’re going to have to attack and destroy the old teacher-student barriers that used to exist and lead the collaborative efforts that are part of 21st century learning. Otherwise, they’re going to have to find ways to dig up copies of newspapers.