Monday, June 22, 2009

Technology & Schools

A podcast that I listen to - Manic Mommies - was part of an event at WGBH, the PBS affiliate station in Boston, about our digital nation.  Today the Mommies posted a video link from PBS about technology in schools and the video highlights two specific schools and how technology is changing the way they teach their students. I really like what this video is saying - use technology to enhance your lessons and give kids real world skills.

I tend to think that  my school district has a lot of technology, but I think the thing that my district misses the boat on is teaching the students REAL WORLD applications.  I think that our kids should be in the computer lab doing typing programs/games in 1st grade. I think the kids should be learning and practicing how to use word processing programs, spreadsheets and multimedia programs.  A perfect example of this is my district spends a lot of money on broadcast studios in every school, and they are great, except that instead of giving us a multimedia computer with programs like Adobe Premier (or better yet a MAC) they give us an expensive editing system.  The system is hard to use and it is something that the average student (or teacher for that matter) would not have access to at home. It's a great system for a high school, not so much for an elementary school.  Let me teach them how to edit simple video using Windows movie maker (which every PC running Windows comes with) and maybe get a little more advanced with something like Adobe Premier, something they could purchase easily for their home computer.  

I think that schools the schools who find ways in integrate technology using real world applications and that use technology to enhance lessons instead of using technology just to use technology will be the schools that will succeed. Of course the other part to this technology puzzle is training teachers and giving the teachers time and resources to use the technology with their students.  

Well that is enough thinking today... it is hot and sunny here in Atlanta and I think my neighborhood pool is calling...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer.. just a flying by....

I can't believe that the kids got out of school 4 WEEKS ago - between my kids activities that were still going on (dance, baseball, both of which FINALLY ended this week) and some school things I had to take care of (all day science committee planning meeting, two days of trouble shooting with the county people to get my broadcast studio back up and running etc..) I feel like summer has just barely begun and now there is really only 5 weeks left to enjoy some carefree days.  On July 27th the kids activities start back up and I have to start getting into work mode again - sigh - I was once a stay at home mom for a few years and during that time I realized that I am not very good at the "staying home" part, and I do love my job, but it sure is nice to have this time off! I have read quite a few adult books this summer but I still have a large STACK of kid books to tackle, I am thinking I will get started on those this week!

This is what I was up to this weekend - 
This is my daughter and I at our dance recital this weekend! Who says librarians are old and stuffy!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Scholastic & Junk

Ever since I worked my first book fair as a media center volunteer I have been aware of the "junk" on the fair. Those little trinkets like erasers, pencil sharpeners, fuzzy pens (that NEVER work) and the like.  As a media specialist I have been known to "hide" in the back, BOXES of this junk.  Well now teachers are trying to organize a fight with Scholastic.  In an article in Monday's USA Today, the group Campaign for a Commercial free Childhood is starting a petition for Scholastic to get rid of the junk and get back to the books.

As a former marketing person, I do know that Scholastic makes their money on this junk - and in turn WE make more money on our book fair from the purchase of said junk - BUT, as the group is asking, is it right?

Like I said above, I have long hidden boxes of junk during the fair, I make decisions on what I feel comfortable putting out and what I think needs to be left in the boxes, just like any "store owner" would.  I also have made a deal with my Scholastic Rep (The FANTASTIC Tammi Brown) that on my fall fair I get it all, but on my spring fair I only get books and also a handful of bookmarks and pencils (we cannot give change for a check so sometimes if parents have written the check out for a specific amount we have to add a few of these to make the purchase total the check amount.)

In my area there is not much choice in the book fair market, I have used other companies before, but for what I want/need, Scholastic meets my needs. SO no, I won't be canceling my fair in protest, I will keep on doing what I have done for six years and maybe the result of this petition will be, I will have less boxes of junk to hide next book fair!

Monday, June 1, 2009

New post up at my school blog (about author Laurel Snyders book party tonight!)

I am trying to get through a pile of adult books that have been collecting dust, but I am hoping to get to my kids book pile soon! I am taking a quick trip to Boston this weekend, kid free, so I can't wait for 2.5 hours of uninterrupted reading time on the plane!

We have been on summer break not even a week yet, and I am now listening to my 8yr old son sing to me "My mamma hates me, she hates me very much".. this is in response to the fact that I won't get up and make him a 2nd breakfast (he didn't like his 1st of homemade french toast). 

Gotta love summer!