It’s been a great couple of days at the ILILE Conference in Kent, Ohio except for one thing. Here I am waiting for my plane at the Cleveland airport and it’s the first time I’ve had a connection. It’s a sad commentary on my existence that it felt as painful as it did to be offline. Anymore if I go a day without wading through my Bloglines account I get up over 300 posts behind, easy. And I’d still say at least 50% of them are usually relevant or interesting…worth a few minutes at least. I need to get a life.
Today the teachers and librarians in attendance had a great conversation about what it means to teach in a world where content is easily created, freely shared, and actively engaged. It’s such a big shift from the traditional, textbook focused classroom where our students create documents and assignments that are basically collectors of information. With the Read/Write Web, assignments become not just containers but connectors to all sorts of other important resources. It’s a riff on what David Weinberger writes and talks about so well.
But one teacher from Toledo spoke about how fewer than 40% of her students can access the Internet from home, and how she worried that the learning divide between her students and those with access will expand more quickly in the era of an interactive Web. It still amazes me that the number one national education priority isn’t to connect EVERY student to the Web. It’s sinful.
And here I’m complaining about not having wifi that works in my hotel…
I was just talking to a professor about this issue. She just came from teaching at a large state school that is state-of-the-art on campus, but off campus, students may not have computers or access to the internet, so that even using cms is difficult. I taught at the same place not that long ago and I remember it being a problem.
Here, we have discussed a laptop program because so few students *don’t* have computers, so that they feel really left out when their classmates are walking around with the latest technology.
Carrie Ciofani says
I’m hoping that some reader some where will have a connection to those folks at MIT who are developing the 100 dollar laptop and remind them that while certainly developing countries need 100 dollar laptops, we need them too!