Help! They are dragging me into the 21st Century!
My school is deeply involved in the 21st century education initiative and something called Web 2.0. It’s all about technology, technology, technology. I honestly don’t know if it’s a case of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” or if the world of education just opened its eyes and said, “Wow! It’s more than a pc or two in the classroom!” Whatever the cause, here we are, on the crux of a whole new classroom. The problem for me is I left my crux back in the LAST century.
I’m trying, I really am. I’m on a committee, even the name of which confuses me, I’m reading up on topics, attending “webinars,” buying cool contraptions that play beautiful music at the push of a button and give me a mobile way to check my email, and working very, very hard at not wrinkling my nose every time a new technology idea is run past me.
You know what I want? I want to sit my classes in a circle of desks with a big ol’ stack of paper, several pens or pencils, at least one book per desk, and dictionaries/thesauruses available for all. I want us then to form a literary community — reading, writing, sharing, publishing, polishing, learning……
They tell me those days are gone. I didn’t even have time to mourn. But what all my research and jumping-in is showing me is that maybe – just maybe – I can still do this. We can still sit in a circle, but on the desk will be the technology of choice – laptop, netbook, iPad, etc., and on it will be the books, the “paper” and the “pen,” a plethora of editing and revising helps, and almost endless opportunities for publication. We will form a literary community and share via on-line blogs, school web pages, classroom Twitter accounts, uploading and sharing of documents. We will have a world of information at our fingertips to make our writing richer and our reading more informed.
Like it or not, the 21st century is here. Are we too dependent on technology? Does it really matter? We ARE dependent on it and it’s here to stay, only it won’t stay as it is. It will continue to evolve and grow at an astonishing rate that I’ll have to work hard to keep up with. But I WILL continue to work at it because it’s also MY 21st century and I want to be a part.
That said, should you turn on the webcam on my home computer on almost any given evening, you’ll likely find me curled up at the end of my couch, my dog on my lap, a steaming cup of tea or coffee next to me, and a good old fashioned paper-bound book in my hands. Even so, my mobile device will be next to me also, keeping me in touch with this swiftly-changing world.