Sunday, October 26, 2008

Why are we still reading all of this when theory tells us narration and animation are better - just kidding

Interesting reading - all of it, but I'm still not sure if I'm ready to question my own belief system regarding reading and some fundamentals of education (i.e. critical thinking skills). I realize that the Framework for 21st Century Learning supports these types of learning process, I just felt that abandoning reading might be a little too progressive for me. I agree that much of what we currently provide in education has little relevance to today's student - but feel there are fundamentals they should know and have questions about how to level the playing field for all students. After all, teenagers couldn't Blog or create their MySpaces without knowledge of reading and writing. And like I said in class, having a child or teenager (for that matter) spend that much time in front of a computer as opposed to actively doing something, is not healthy.

Wow - the ECAR research study was a lot of paper (I can't read things on a computer screen, it gives me a massive migraine and I can't highlight or process the information the way I need to). Which brings me to my next point, digitally scanning research or print does little for my learning. I need a hard copy of literature and to highlight and review it several times before I process and fully understand the information. I have a hard time buying into the fact that these "digital natives" get anything out of scanning information the way that it's proclaimed they do - maybe I'm wrong and I process information differently.

I think what's important to remember with the ECAR research is who it represents: college students. Does everyone in this society go to college or have even an equal chance of going to college? I talk to the students I have at one of my school districts and 90% of them do not even feel it's an option. Suggesting that somehow education would be able to provide equal access to all to create these 21st Century Learners is neither truthful or financially feasible. So I have to beg the question, are we trying to create a greater divide in access and equity in education with digital learning? I realize the global scare of America falling behind the rest of world drives the majority of propaganda stating that American schools are failing. I recently read an article by Yong Zhao in "The School Administrator" that postulates the idea that the reason that America as a country has been so successful and responsible for more innovations around the world is because we have allowed for creativity in schools in the past. Now with NCLB and other education reforms geared towards a one size fits all education, the U.S. should expect to see a decline in innovations and creativity. Looking for an answer on overcoming these barriers with reforms, mandates, and no funding for those with the least amount of access?

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