Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a cave-man and a cave-woman. His name was "Ugh", and her name was "Oogh". There actually were many cave-people in that small cave-town, but our story centers around Ugh and Oogh. Oogh was a teacher at the cave-school, and Ugh was the principal and primary financial backer of the school (in other words, he caught lunch every day and cooked it for the students).

One day, Oogh found that if she took several leaves and bound them together with a stem, she could have a fun resource for the classroom. Her students gave her that idea, as it was the newest and coolest thing among the teen-cave-folk. She approached Ugh. Their dialogue went something like this:

Oogh: Ungha oog. Umble unga ooga? (Look at this. Isn't it cool?)

Ugh: Nunga. Yunga booga icka ooga. Chunga unga. (No. It's a teenager's booga. Yuck.)

Oogh: Dunga, booga icka ooga rungi chunga do Oogh. (No, I made the book. I think we could use it in the classroom to enhance instruction.

Ugh: Nunga. (No, that's ridiculous. Kids today don't need these fancy booga's, they need to be taught how to hunt and gather. That's how we survive. That's the education we need.)

Oogh: Ungha ooga booga. (Come now, don't you see? The world is changing. Soon, we will all live in a world with books, where knowledge is king. Don't you want our students at the forefront of that?)

Ugh: hahahahahaha! Ungha nunga booga. (Laughter. That will NEVER happen. Things will never change, they will always stay the same.)

And with that, Oogh gave up her dream of teaching with booga's as part of the curriculum. She did, however, keep some booga's in her room, and she would teach with them whenever Ugh was out hunting. The end.

Okay, so that story wasn't true, but isn't that similar to a lot of conversations going on right now? Whenever I tell people that I teach with iPods, I encounter at least one person that will sound an awful lot like Ugh. I am told that iPods are toys, and that there is no way that students would ever use them for an educational reason. Why change the text books? Books are sacred and always will be.

Think about that for a minute. Think about how many books are written each day, and the rising costs of things like electricity, paper and ink. Do you really see a world where the printed word will be king forever? Me neither.

So, which will you choose to be? Will you be a person who embraces change and implements it daily in your classroom? Or will you be a nay-sayer who believes the future will never change? Will you be Ugh or Oogh?

Ooghs of the world - unite!

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