Saturday, June 06, 2009

Library2Play 2 - Thing #1




Child of 23 Things here I come! It's summer and time to play. I am at Beck's Prime at The Memorial Park golf course hanging out while My Beloved chips and putts. It is beastly hot - only Mad Dogs, Englishmen and Golfers venture out in the Houston sun.

I have a new toy - a Pink Mini Dell that is light as a feather. Unfortunately, the Memorial Park Golf Course does not have wireless so I accessed the Library Media Services web page via my iPhone. However, I while I can get to TeacherTube I can't get the video to open up. Curses. Foiled by technology. I wonder if it is posted on YouTube? Off to check............

10 minutes later....yes, it was there. YouTube isn’t as hinky as TeacherTube. In fact, I've seen this video before - I think it was included in the original 23 Things. I have conquered technology - yeah me! Usually it is the other way around.

Thoughts on the Networked Student. Right off the bat I see 2 major hurdles the 21st Student must jump before he or she appears in an SBID school near us.

One is the textbook lobby. They don't want to kill that goose that lays those golden eggs - or those 70 dollar bricks. Teachers might not want to use them but the school district has to buy them...even if they pile up unused in warehouses. Kids over load their backpacks and ruin their posture dragging them back and forth. For what it costs to supply a student with a full set of textbooks the district could buy everyone an inexpensive laptop and stack of books on CD.

Two is our no so beloved TAKS test which is mired deep in the 1950s. I taught a Blogging Class this year as part of the after school program. I didn't use a textbook and the students never ever picked up a pencil. Kids begged to be included and we had a joyful time. They were proud of their work and clamored to share. They never realized they were learning the mechanics of writing. I didn't allow “cell phone speak" and insisted on correct grammar and spelling.
These same students dreaded pencil and paper writing in class. With me, their keyboarding improved and once they got beyond hunt and peck their thoughts spilled out through their fingers. The TAKS writing test is a paper and pencil test. During class the kids had to practice their handwriting and worry about spelling. Were electronic copies allowed neither of those would have mattered. Well, spelling would since kids can foil the spell check but they still could have concentrated on content rather than mechanics.

So, can a librarian be a 21st Century teacher – yes he/she could, but not till our legislature and the TEA catch up with said librarian. Will that happen during the lifetime of my teaching career? Cynic that I am, I have my doubts. In the meantime I'll keep plugging way, aiming for the small clinks in the armour that is called education.

3 comments:

VWB said...

Yes, it is good that we often have choices of where we can get the videos...I really hope we get the chance to see what having YouTube open in district will mean for using technology in the classroom...
am looking forward to sharing this new adventure with you and all the new things we will learn!

atxteacher said...

You go girl! I'm with you on the textbooks. Good for working out your arms but not your brain! When I was in the classroom (and now that's starting fall in the "long ago" category) the mood of the room changed the instant you got out the textbook. Other than for math, I found I didn't want to fight the battle of attitude to use the textbook.

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