I am in Vaughan (near Toronto) for a couple of days for the Dr. Jean summer camp. Today was awesome and I have so many new great ideas to take back to my class. She actually mentioned The Read-Aloud Handbook during the session today (and the book study). I find it fitting that I am blogging about chapter 7 after spending a day at a session that is reminding me of the low-tech ways I can reach my students. My favourite quote from the day was “We are so busy trying to give our kids what we didn’t have that we forget to give them what we did.” Dr. Jean
Chapter 7 discusses the good and bad of digital learning. Trelease starts by highlighting the advantages of e-books. These are all the same things that the advertisers of E-books use: lightweight, added life expectancy, multimedia, hyperlinks, and audio links. I am definitely going to check out gutenberg.org. Next he goes through liabilities: how do you stock a classroom library, what if technology gets outdated, and we read more slowly from a screen than a paper.
One of the most interesting things that was in this chapter was that many of the private Waldorf, technology free, schools in Silicone Valley are filled with children who’s parents work in the big tech firms. These are parents who make their living from technology yet they see the value in hands-on creativity and play exploration.
The last thing that struck me was that “Constant connectedness undercuts thinking and creativity” (page. 138). Our kids need down time. I know that I am really having trouble disconnecting so I can only imagine what is happening to my kids. Ironically it made me think of a Big Bang Theory episode when Sheldon took a ‘menial’ job with Penny to give his brain a break so we would be able to possibly find a solution to his problem. We need to slow down and for me that is the time I curl up with a book, just a book – no hyperlinks, no added bells and whistles – just a great read!! I want to be able to ‘read between the lines’ and find deeper meaning in the authors writing.