I joined a technology book club last month. The book I am reading is, The Shallows (What the Internet Is Doing To Our Brains) by Nicholas Carr. If you have not read this book and have interest in brain research, history, and how technology is changing our society, then I highly recommend the book.
It is interesting and perhaps a bit scary to realize we, as a society, are rewiring our brains. Carr talks extensively about how this fast-paced information overload keeps us moving at high speeds skimming the surface of a lot of information. He opens the readers eyes to lack of depth in our search for information. He says we have less ability to stay focused on one topic and find ourselves going off on side trips.
Perhaps this is why, as an “old teacher” I am appalled at the surface teaching I have been witnessing. I have been having a difficult time understanding why so many people are teaching to the test. I thought it was out of fear but perhaps it is because they don’t know how to dig deep with their kids and get great results. I did not grow up in an information highway. I was well into my career by the time the Internet hit our schools.
Don’t get me wrong. I love all the techie tools. I use them at home and in my classroom. My classroom has four computers, five ipads, an lcd projector, and a document camera. I use my iphone for all sorts of things such as taking photos, recording kid’s reading, and previewing apps.
I try to never limit my teaching to test results, curriculum, “I Can” statements, or the baseline of what is expected. The sky is the limit. We start with what is expected and open our minds to even more. I don’t want kids memorizing, I want them to understand and then take that concept they understand and apply it across the curriculum and throughout their life. The unit of study never ends…there is no finale.