Today’s Student, Yesterday’s Classes

I read about this video on Dean Shareski’s blog today, and I just don’t want to forget about it, so I’m embedding it here:

Wow! Another great one from Michael Wesch–the same man who did The Machine is Us/ing Us!

I wonder about a video illustrating this concept of disconnect between our students and our system. What would it look like if translated to the younger students–like my elementary aged kids or middle schoolers? Thinking…

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Week 8 Thing #18 Online Productivity Tools

I have played around the Zoho writer and Google docs for a few months now, and I must say that I think this change in the whole idea of applications and software is an exciting one. I’ve found that they work almost identically to MS productivity tools, and documents created in these applications open and function perfectly normally in MS Office. These online productivity tools could potentially replace expensive applications such as MS Word, Excel, etc. because they’re free and accessible anywhere. Other than the necessity of being live online, I can see no reason to insist on MS products for our school PCs. Users can save their work in microsoft-friendly formats too, so they’re useful to users who might not be Zoho/Google Docs users.

Imagine my disappointment when I found that Google Docs is blocked at my school. I haven’t checked Zoho. I don’t know why. I don’t know why such a tool would be threatening to the network or to student safety. Perhaps the ability to publish a document wide is the objection that the district has to these tools. It is certainly too bad, because this seems like a huge “gift” to school districts strapped for funding!

A fellow participant in the School Library Learning 2.0 program, blogging here at Book-Case, so precisely stated what librarians’ focus should be in the whole school2.0/library2.0 debate, that I wanted to quote her here:
(school librarians)

need to reorient our way of thinking from fixed goals to be met, to ongoing goals that are a work in progress. We need to be trendspotters and maybe even trendsetters for our schools. We don’t need to be techno-geeks; what we need is to be good readers, good listeners and flexible professionals who value and collaborate with our patrons.

Thanks Book-Case for pulling those loose ends together for us. Very well said!

My goals as librarian are much different–more general (maybe overarching is a better word)–than those of the classroom teacher. My focus is much more on the 21st Century literacy goals being discussed in this project and by such “important” thinkers as Joyce Valenza, David Warlick and Doug Johnson, etc. Those skills include “traditional” skills such as reading, literature appreciation & evaluation, selection, etc. But they also include the newer learning that we are doing in this project this summer. Thanks Book-Case for making me think about this!

Pay Attention: Digital Learners

An interesting video that might get some conversation going about how our students learn and why. This is a conversation that we need to have on an ongoing basis in our schools, because I’m not sure some educators (in my world, anyway) really “get” it.

There’s an old saying that if you keep doing what you’ve always done, then you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten. I’m not sure that’s true with our students anymore. I believe that if we keep teaching in the same way we’ve taught in the past, we will end up with disengaged young people who are not prepared for their life in the 21st century–in the flat world.

Here’s the video by Darren Draper at T-4 Jordan School District (Utah). His list of resources is a great supplement to the video as well–the video is posted on that page as well.

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