Monday, January 23, 2012

Another Step in the Revolution: Books and Technology

I teach high school, as you know. I teach a class that is intended to introduce not only industry-standard software but also real-life skills like buying a car, post-high school planning, and financial management.
I also emphasize the responsible use of technology.
Some people hear this and think it's all about how to play in the Tech Sandbox, and, to a large extent, it is. It's critical for people to respect intellectual copyright, send professional emails, and avoid flaming.
But--and here is where people get surprised--I talk about the absolute, unequivocal need to Unplug.
I teach about all things Digital Age and one of my main messages is to go Renaissance. In a sense.
I want kids to be able to function without external stimulation.
I want kids to have silence in their heads and see what happens in that silence.
I want kids to read books, ingest words, ideas, stories, worlds.
I want them to have the capacity to imagine and dream and create.
Technology has a vital place in the world.
Technology helps us to create, yes. It is an important tool. It is a marvel.
But the things that are make us human--imagination, spirit, soul--need to be nurtured and celebrated. We carry within us infinite frontiers and possibilities.
It's good for all of us to turn off the noise and unplug.
So pretty much the only homework I ever assign is reading a novel.
And it's so lovely to have a classroom library to give them choices.
Books--lots of books--in the computer lab.


  1. i teach english and i wish i could always assign a few chapters from a book for homework, but the head teacher would be all over my a** lol

  2. I work in academia and the trend is to go for more e-access all round in place of all things print. Very depressing!

    Take care