Over the summer, while working on our Web site at MMISchools.com and its accompanying MMIS Xtra e-newsletter, I found myself writing brief stories that pointed readers toward new … what to call them? phenomena? technologies? … that educators should be aware of and probably press into service in their media centers and schools. Take a look, for example, at the Cool Links stories on video games and their likely relevance for education. (The quickest way to the stories: At the MMISchools.com main page, run a search on "games, gaming" from the search box at the left side of the page.) My goal was to urge people not just to be aware of but to jump in and try out, or try on, some new and relevant concepts, in order to understand their relevance, indeed, their integral essence, to the lives of today's students.
Stephen Abram, in his Pipeline column this month, pursues the same theme. In Playing to Learn! Meet and Greet the New Interactive Technologies (p. 16), he urges readers to play with and get to know IM, podcasts, Internet telephony, and more—all free or very inexpensive communications modes. Abram writes: "When the classroom blackboard was invented back in the 1860s, it took decades for this innovation, which involved the whole class in learning, to spread. It will take time for these innovations to spread too. We have a little time now to adopt the best of the features and experiment with them in the pursuit of great learning environments, meet the world, and have fun!"
Really, what we often see as "the future" is "now" for today's students, so look into it! Enjoy Stephen's Pipeline column and the rest of this back-to-school issue.
I mentioned the MMISchools.com Web site above as part of our overall effort to keep you up-to-date and tuned-in to K-12 library and education technology goings on. Now let me briefly note news of the two conferences we do, as both are definitely part of this same overall effort.
Internet @ Schools West, in Monterey, Calif., is coming up next month. We'd love to have some of you come. See the conference program right here in the pages of this issue, and/or check it out and register online via links from http://www.infotoday.com/Internet@Schools/. And while the official deadline for submissions has passed, if you're fast you might still be able to get our attention with a presentation proposal for Internet@Schools East, in Washington, D.C., next March. Jump to the Call for Speakers page at http://www.infotoday.com/I@SE2006/CallforSpeakers.shtml for more information.
One coast or the other, we hope to see you.
David Hoffman, Editor