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Unlucky Lists

This morning a Twitter colleague of mine shared a link to Choice Literacy’s “Unlucky Lists: Raising Non-Writers and Non-Artists.” I have to admit that I was a bit thrown by the title originally. Why would I want to learn how to raise NON-writers and NON-artists? My curiosity got the best of me, and I’m so glad it did. If you haven’t seen this article, please take the time to check it out now. This is such a creative approach to highlighting the pure silliness of reasons we hear every day to dismiss teaching literacy and arts skills to students. My thoughts immediately turned to the reasons that I hear all the time about why people do not use technology in K-12 education. I was inspired to generate my own “Unlucky List: Raising Non-Technology Savvy Students.”

1. Block and filter everything that your child could be exposed to on the internet that could be the least bit controversial. Protecting them from everything is the only way to prepare them for it.

2. Completely trust the filter program you are using. It totally eliminates the need for monitoring what your child is doing online.

3. Use your computer mostly for word-processing. It’s the only “real” way to share information anyways.

4. If what you have created cannot be printed, signed by a parent and filed in a child’s permanent folder, it wasn’t worth doing in the first place.

5. Do not, under any circumstances, join a social networking site. They are just full of fiction, fantasy and child stalkers.

6. Do not share the information and activities that you have collected and created. You had to do all of the work from scratch yourself. Everyone else should have to suffer through that as well.

7. Don’t worry about learning to integrate and use the technologies that are being offered today. Just like every other fad, this too shall pass.

8. If you must allow students to use technology for learning, limit it to research at approved sites only. You can obviously trust their content.

9. Technological tools are just a way to make things pretty and fancy. They cannot actually enhance learning. We should just stick to smelly markers and glitter.

10. You have to pay for anything of real value on the internet. Therefore, it’s too expensive to really use these tools.

11. Elementary students should only use the internet to do online coloring and to play educational games during recess on rainy days. That’s all they are ready to do.

12. Nothing can be collaboratively created without a meeting, chart paper, post-it notes and snacks. If you aren’t meeting in person, it won’t be done well.

13. YouTube is simply a waste of time, energy, and bandwidth. It holds nothing of educational value.

What would you add to the list of ways to raise a non-technology savvy student? Let’s be sure to get this out to parents, won’t we?

7 Responses

  1. Sheri Edwards has also started a response to this article here (http://whatelse2learn.blogspot.com/2009/04/3-ways-to-non-writer.html). She’s such an inspiration to me!

  2. Love it! I would add:

    Do not let students try a technological tool until you are totally proficient with it yourself. Better not to introduce something than do so and risk revealing that you do not know all. You are the sole purveyor of knowledge.

  3. If you choose to do a technology project be sure to create a paper-pencil test to assess what they learned. The project itself isn’t enough to prove mastery of a topic.

  4. These are excellent. Thanks so much Toby & Ms Stewart. These are priceless.

  5. Listen to all the scary emails and news blurbs you get about the internet. If someone has an email account, they must be experts.

  6. More:

    “Don’t post anything on a public website. If it can’t be installed/maintained locally, it can’t be trusted.”

    “Never allow the use of Wikipedia. Ever. It can’t be trusted. Not even as a starting point. Seriously. And whatever you do, DO NOT attempt to teach students how to evaluate and recognize good sources vs. bad sources. They might learn something. They might even become content contributors, and we wouldn’t want that, would we?”

    “Always ask: Who’s going to support this? How will teachers get training? Understand that teachers are incapable of learning anything new, and *our* students aren’t as smart as other students, so they won’t get it either…It’s always better to play it safe and not try anything new. It’ll never work. We’re not going to make it…”

  7. When the technology fails, there is nothing that students can possibly learn during this time by modeling problem solving techniques and the need to build in flexibility and have plan B’s. Therefore, the risk of wasting precious teaching time is not worth attempting to experiment with new technology integration.

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