For Most, It’s Still a Giant Encyclopedia

I've used this slide more often than not during my presentations:










I was thinking it was time to retire it but then I read this article in the Globe and Mail. It's basically a story about a teacher who's asking her students to do some research without using the internet. What I will say is I like a teacher who's willing to try new things and wants her student's to experience new things as well. She says,

"I want them to understand what they are perhaps missing with technology."

Fair enough. But when I read statements like this, I think she's missing something too.

At this age, they get stuck on Wikipedia being the answer to everything and they forget that people can be a really great resource.

I agree. Which is why I refer back to that quote. So the exercise goes on to talk about how kids went to post offices, called their grandparents all to find answers that were at their fingertips. Again, an interesting experiment that might lead to some good conversations. I think more teachers should be doing social experiments like this. But even as you read the comments, it is clear the majority of the world still thinks of the internet as a giant encyclopedia filled with information that may or may not be reliable.  The idea that the development of a reliable global network of learners that provide ideas, information, inspiration and encouragement is still foreign to the majority of teachers and parents. 

I'm not retiring that slide just yet.