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EdTech Update

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Monday
Mar062006

Flattening world

In this morning's e-mail:

respected sir,
 we are organising a small book fair at pathsala, a
little village in india. we are publishing your
article 'The Future of Books' from the website in the
souvenir as we saw that "permission to use this column
for non-profit use is freely given". This letter is
for your kind intimation about it.
 Congratulating you for writing such a beautifull
article and your ideas which are expressed so
vividly.

for editorial board,
UDAYAN BOOK FAIR
Pathsala

 Amazing...

Thursday
Mar022006

Are we moving ahead or backward?

It took me awhile, but I finally found the webpage "77 Ways Teachers Are Using Technology in the Classroom in District 77" I created 10 years ago. What spurred the search was a "gee whiz" article on students following some online expedition somewhere. I thought. "Why are we still exclaiming about things like this after having been doing them for a decade or more?"

As I look at the list, I can't help but think we may well have gone backwards in the past 10 years. The focus in classrooms today is so tight on reading, writing, math and test scores fewer teachers seem willing to try something new (and exciting.)

Plus our tech efforts still seem so scattershot. Why do we not have the same level of sophistication regarding technology and information literacy curricula as we have for reading, math, writing and the content areas - or commitment to implementing such a curricula?

Big sigh... 

(Oh, I finally found this webpage on our isd77 server when I accidentally typed the search term "77 ways" into Google when I thought I was typing it into Spotlight. Amazing.)


Wednesday
Mar012006

Totally divorced from reality?

This response to my blog entry "Why librarians should be in charge of educational technology" summarizes feelings I hear a lot:

I think that the person you describe should be determined by the characteristics not the job title. If a person has all of the characteristics you describe, they are perfect for implementing technology.

There are unfortunately, some librarians who are so difficult to work with and short sighted that they will not implement a new technology until it was written about in their favorite library journal five years a go.

I agree with your characteristics but not necessarily the job title assigned with those characteristics. I'm sure in your school, it is you. However, in my school it wouldn't be.

Quite a few people had a similar response - "You sure aren't describing MY librarian as a potential tech partner!" I hear this a lot when talking to teachers and administrators. Obviously my experiences and perceptions of school librarians aren't the same as others. Am I totally divorced from reality?

 The librarians I work with are probably among the most competent, caring, progressive, and tech-savvy people I know. Granted, I DOlibrarian.jpg only work with the ones in my district (who I have helped hired), the ones who attend my workshops, and ones who I meet and work with in my professional organizations. The creme de la creme of the library field, perhaps? I can honestly say that most of the librarians I know are, well, hot!

So here is my question: Is the library field, more than any other, divided between the  competent and incompetent? It's not like if I said, "My dentist is really good since he uses anesthetic" that people would respond, "Yeah, well maybe your dentist does, but ours still gives you a slug of whiskey and pulls the tooth with a rusty pair of pliers." Or if I said, "My account files my taxes online," you'd say, "My accountant? He doesn't even own a computer!"

So why do I think "competence" when I think "librarian" and the rest of the world thinks I'm insane?