Saturday, April 18, 2015

The new 4 letter Word - BOOK !!

Everywhere I go on social media at the moment, that is talking about education, it is "textbooks are bad!"... "textbooks should be thrown away"... etc etc......

Let me ask a question ....
If you need a science fact about how water molecules are put together, is the fact any different if it is read online or in a book?

I have never been a fan of the type of exam that expects students to memorise facts and spew them back in response to the appropriate question. This tests memory, not understanding of the topic, and it always has. I have always argued that if you are working in a job, then you have a whole library of resources at your fingertips to refer to and you don't have to waste time trying to remember all this stuff. We want people with application and understanding to be doing the jobs. This was my opinion before the internet ( yes, I was a teacher B. I. )

So, if a fact can be found by thumbing through a book, great! If it can be found by a quick internet search, then that is great too! We have to teach students to use all the resources around them when doing their research , including newspapers, libraries, the internet,  talking to people, market research, and yes, old textbooks.

After that, online apps and activities are fantastic at embedding understanding of the facts as it forces students to use what they have learned in practical ways. This, as we all know, is one of the top keystones to learning - using and applying.
There is a huge wealth of this stuff out there on the web for us to use with our students.

But lets not throw the baby out with the bath water.
Lets teach our kids they have lots a ways to find and use information.
Then they can create their own and share it with the world.
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