One of the criticisms people launch against using technology in schools is that kids aren’t writing or reading anymore. However, once you start looking at it, kids ARE writing and reading all the time. It just looks different from what the parents are used to seeing.
Yup, it looks different. Texting looks different. Facebook looks different. Blogging looks different. But kids are constantly consuming and creating content with these tools. It is up to adults: teachers, parents and others, to make sure kids know how to use critical thinking skills when interacting with this content. We need to teach it using the tools the kids are using all the time.
I recently heard about a current events class being taught at a local high school. What a great opportunity to teach reading, writing and critical thinking skills using newspapers, blogs, Twitter, YouTube, etc., etc.! Yet, it turns out this class uses few online sources. I’m not sure why. Is it that the teachers aren’t comfortable with the tools/sources? That the administrators aren’t supportive? That the computer labs are so tied up with testing and other classes that they can’t get in? I’m not sure, but what a disservice to these kids.
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen quite a few posts about writing: blogging, eBooks, etc. Perhaps by showing more evidence of the value of online sources actually promoting reading and writing rather than detracting, we can get more adoption and inclusion of online sources.
Here are a few examples:
Langwitches Blog: This blog writes extensively about reading and technology. Here are a couple recent posts:
- First grade classroom project about butterflies that resulted in an eBook.
- Blogging: how blogging is a process
Creating iBooks or eBooks from “Learning and Teaching with iPads”