How well do you know your young charges? What do your students do in their so-called spare time? How do they do their homework? Where do they do it? What’s the environment like? Can you say with confidence what the PC penetration is in your classes or school? Is your visual picture of your learners doing their assignments, homework, or papers accurate? How about your classroom colleagues?
These are important questions. In my experience, much behavior in the teacher-librarian/media specialist community is too often driven by opinion and no data. And every class, every school, every library club, every community, is, or can be, different. However, when we are attempting to empower our learners to excel, it is incumbent on us to have an informed view of their technological bent. And, make no mistake, there is a subterranean culture of students that doesn’t always show itself to the adult world. I am a big fan of the television animation series South Park. It captures this world of youngsters in a humorous but scary way.
So I thought that I would invest time in this month’s column on providing you with a starting point for checking out where your students stand in the technological spectrum. I casually and formally survey students all the time. I do this from the earliest grades right through secondary and higher education because I need to know—and so do you!
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