I Sing The Body Electric, Part 2
I’m here to sing the praises of some of the technical innovations that I first learned about in 21C but which have since become more important to me for personal reasons. My daughter left January 1 for a year of study in France. Since she has been there, I have talked to and seen her on Skype, used Google Earth to look at the neighborhood where she’s living and the school she’ll be attending (Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris), and viewed some of the pictures she’s taken on Photo Bucket. It made me think about “just in case” versus “just in time” learning. I learned about the existence of Skype and Google Earth and played with them during 21C sessions, and though they were fascinating, they were never that important to me until I had a reason to use them. It made me realize all over again why students often seem disinterested by the “just in case” learning we traditionally foist on them. Whether it’s technology or literature or any other skill or knowledge, the real challenge is to give the students a reason to use it – a real reason, not just an exercise to see if they can. I find this realization daunting because, to me, it makes planning a lesson so much more uncertain and complicated. I’m used to trying to convince students that they should read literature, for example, but I’m not so practiced at showing them why they need to read literature.