Dear students and coworkers,
I’ve been challenged to express what needs to be the focus of our learning for 2009—another meme—but with a better focus this time: YOU. I was tagged by Joyce Valenza. So here is my meme-type laundry list of a target we are not quite zeroed in on yet. Hopefully we (all of us—librarians, teachers, students) will strive toward this target this year.
- Web eval – Yes, I’m still seeing you guys run to the workstation so passionate about Google. This is so wrong on many levels, and (raising hand here) I am so guilty too. We must broaden our horizons in terms of searching, and expand to other sources online than just Google.
- Searching databases – Why do we avoid these like the plague? I know I know it’s just not as cool as YouTube or Google. But I am so tired of hearing complaints about “not being able to find anything” or “this block is stupid.” Using the db will end futile searches and avid the “access denied” screen once and for all. Too bad it’s just not as cool.
- Creative Commons/Fair Use – This goal is more for your teachers than for you, though I hope you leave with the knowledge that right clicking on every image you run across is not OK. We (particularly teachers) need to understand that students should NOT be grabbing any image they can find to use in projects. If they are used, then a proper citation should be used, and teachers, you and I should be modeling this too! Let’s talk about where we can find pictures that a freely available, some even available for tweaking or modifying. Adjust those rubrics and take credit away for lack of any reference to where those pictures came from for Pete’s sake.
- Copyright – As I am preparing for a lesson on music from file sharing sites and the legality of it (yes a teacher wants me to address this!), I can’t help but be reminded of the RIAA’s shift in direct focus from the ones posting music and downloading to the Internet Service Providers and shutting down the offender’s access. I have a Google Alert (oh, I’m such a hypocrite) as I track the news about incidents and cases to share with my students in the coming weeks. Last year I was so pumped when talking about this because I had a case in the news to back up what I was saying…now I’m unsure as that case has been dismissed. While I hope to clear up confusion, I may very well make it worse. Oh what a shifting target as a goal.
- End of Powerpoint—there are so many more ways to “present” content in your classes, and kids, Powerpoint is NOT your friend. I don’t know if it is sheer disinterest in school work or maybe that teachers have put limitations or strange requirements in the assignments that wound up being a Powerpoint, but I’ve seen very few I like. I wouldn’t even mind seeing an iGoogle tab on a students account with links, student created pathfinders, and more used as a means to demonstrate understanding of a topic.
I hope we at least work in the direction of this somewhat shifting target. I’m sure my goals are not as lofty as others, but I’d still like to see what others have in mind. Considering this, I tag Shannon Dean Wham, Paul C., Diane Cordell, Diane Chen, and Alec Couros