Wednesday, February 6, 2013

C4T #1


I read and responded to 2¢ Worth’s post The Purpose of Textbooks. The one I read was “The Purpose of Textbooks: Part 2”, therefore, I felt I also needed to read Part 1. Throughout both posts, David Warlick talks about textbooks and how the purpose is changing. Years ago when the availability of information was scarce, education was based on remembering. Today however, because of the abundance of technology, education is based on being “skillfully, resourceful and responsible learners.” He goes on in Part 2 to say how we don’t necessarily need textbooks, what we need is “flexible digital textbooks.” Ones that can grow and change with the student as he learns new information, something that can be kept for life to constantly change and adapt. “Learning tools need not be turned in at the end of the course, but carried on, edited, adapted and grown.” When I commented, I focused first on the idea of a “flexible digital textbook.” I wish I could have a ‘textbook’ that changed with me and showed the knowledge I have gained. However, textbooks cannot be completely thrown out; they serve as an excellent springboard for deeper research. Also, many students aren’t motivated enough to be without a given text to know. Maybe these students need a flexible textbook rather than, as Dr. Strange would say, burping back the information put into their heads.

Taxes for Kids
Infograph which compares taxes from all over the world
When I went back to David Warlick’s blog 2 weeks later, I read “World Tax Comparisons” by Ryann Warlick. In this post, Ryann gives an excellent conversation starter to be used in a classroom. She gives a link to an infograph (photo above) and instructions of how to use it in the classroom. First, discuss with students why taxes are needed, what sort of things tax money is used for, and think about “what would the world would be like without the government having money.” Then show the students the infograph. She then poses questions to ask the students and find ways, other than taxes, which the government could use to gather the necessary funds. I found this extremely interesting. I would love to hear what sort of things the kids would come up with. Even some adults could come up with some funny stuff. After exploring this blog a little more, I found there are tons of fun activities like this which could easily be used in a classroom. I plan to keep up with this blog and use some of the methods demonstrated in my own classroom.

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