Monday, January 01, 2007

A New and Exciting Year!

Happy New Web 2.0 Year!

Welcome back! I hope you had a restful and peace filled holiday. As we don’t have any student work to post yet, I thought I’d take this week as an opportunity to direct you to an article in Time magazine about the interesting, challenging and exciting direction that education and specifically my role in educating your children is taking. The year 2007 looks to be year of tremendous change not only in technology but also in the way we as educators view our role. As a librarian I love information. I used to think the more the better. But with the overwhelming amount of information available to me now it becomes almost too much. How to sort through it? What’s accurate? What’s biased? If I feel overloaded, I can only imagine what it must be like for my students.

No longer is it enough to find information. Now we must be able to evaluate it in terms of its accuracy, reliability, and currency. No longer is it enough to “google” a word. We now must learn how to narrow our searches and then critically view the results. These are high level thinking skills but I am convinced that our students must begin to think in this way. The sooner the better.

Time magazine had an interesting cover article in the Dec. 18 issue. It’s entitled How to Build A Student for the 21st Century. It poses the ideas that schools need to be brought out of the 20th century in order to educate the students of today. Although I often feel that Time paints with rather broad brushstrokes, the article makes some good points. Take a little time to read it and let me know what you think.

I find that over the last few months my own reading habits have changed. In addition to reading books ( I’ll never give that up!), and the Los Angeles Times, I read about 15 to 20 blogs each day, getting information about things in which I’m personally interested as well as wonderful information and discussions about reading, literacy, teaching, and libraries. If you are interested in reading two of the very best, try Weblogg-ed by Will Richardson and 2 cents Worth by David Warlick.

This new world of Web 2.0 has indeed changed the way I see my profession, my place in my profession, my participation in my profession—all in an exciting, stimulating way. This is the world our children are growing up in. As an educator I must be part of that world so that I can find a way to guide them through it. Blogging, Wikis, Podcasts…..these are the tools they want to use and I want to both use them myself and make sure that I can teach them how to use them ethically and effectively. That’s the most wonderful part of being a teacher for me…..there’s always something new for me to learn. Here’s to a year of learning!

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