Fostering Appreciation for Educational Materials Past

"This is the digital age!" My son shouted from the hall as he stomped towards his bedroom. I heard a faint, "But my friends don't have to use ridiculous books like this at their house." All I could do was sigh and recall the days I spent flipping through book after book as I sat at the big desk built into the wall of the basement. That desk was surrounded by bookshelves and each shelf was filled from side to side with all the knowledge one could ever desire to embrace. 

"It seems like that was just yesterday." I thought to myself. But that isn't the world where my children are being raised . . . 

In my fourth grader's classroom, there is a digital board where they connect to the Internet and watch science shows on YouTube. Internet Explorer is the replacement for math worksheets and textbooks as the children in his class connect to ScootPad. Within a few weeks, my son and all of his classmates will be using that same system for reading and spelling. Something that is expected to be utilized at home for homework, too. If ever there is a question, a quick email is all it takes to receive an answer.  

No human contact.

No work on penmanship.

No pride in watching lines on a paper evolve into a new experience with mythological worlds and creatures. 

Technology has fueled a shift in how educators educate and how students learn. The systems bring with them a drive and desire for everything in the now. There is no effort to obtain new knowledge and if effort is required, it's not worth the work. 

Even though my own home is connected at every nook and crannie; I still purchase tangible books, look through a thick Webster's Dictionary for definitions, and I honor lined paper by scribbling non sequiturs.

I'm brought back to the present as my son shuts his door with force, rattling the wall. I knock and wait for permission to reach within his space. On his desk, he has a dictionary opened to the word he didn't understand and his eyes are bright as he says, "The word isn't sus-pick-e-uh-sly it is suspiciously and it means, questionable!" 

Without a second thought, I smiled and said, "That is the allure of the dictionary."



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About MystiReutlinger

Ehlers Danlos Syndrome brings great pain and fatigue to Mysti and her two children. She is currently blogging about their experiences at www.EhlersDanlosLife.com.


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