Thursday, February 15, 2007

24-hour Learning?

First of all, if anyone out there is actually reading this stuff, could someone just drop me a quick comment? I need to find a counter to see how many people are actually listening to my rants, but until then, a nice comment once and awhile would be nice. A girl needs an audience for her soapbox preaching! :) I would love to know if you agree with me - if you are seeing the same things I am. If you aren't, I would love to know that, too. I firmly believe that discussion is the only way to truly learn and learn from this new technology wave.

But anyway, I truly feel the need to rant a bit today. I had a student come to me in tears this morning, because she couldn't finish her assignment online because her mom has gotten rid of their computer. I asked her why she didn't come to me sooner, and she told me that one of her other teachers ONLY does assignments on the internet (cool, btw) and that teacher's comment to her lack of computer was "I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do about it". Wow....

Now, I'm ALL for online learning and using new technologies - trust me, there is NOTHING that I won't try speaking, anyway....but we HAVE to provide opportunities for those who may not have access. This particular student is (I believe) the oldest sibling in a single-parent home. She can't drive, so driving herself to the nearest library is out of the question. We could say that she should access stuff in the media center after school, but she catches a bus, and won't have a ride if she stayed after. Plus, with all of our firewalls, certain things we ask our kids to d/l (like a podcast) is not able to be downloaded. We could say that she should access from a friend's house, but we all know how much work really gets done in those situations.

Even though "all" of our kids have a computer with internet access, there will still be kids that don't. Period. And we as educators have to provide for them. I'm not saying that the girl was right to wait until the last minute, but she has a point. If we don't provide for those who don't fit the norm, isn't that a type of discrimination? We should be teaching ALL kids - not the majority. How do we best do this?

Also - the same teacher that the girl was talking about has her students send in projects and other assignments over the internet. Most of her due dates are weekends, evenings, and even vacations. Now, again, I think this is really cool to a point. But apparently, this is occuring all the time. I love that she is thinking outside of the box, but when does 24-hour learning become too much? In this new technological world, where are the boundaries?

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Education, Education of the Future, Future Technology

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