Saturday mornings are turning into a ritualled time in our household. I’m accustomed to getting up at 5:30 a.m. on normal school days, and since my body can't make distinctions, 5:30 on the weekends it is! Our typical breakfast fare is pancakes. My goal is to get up and get the process going before our two girls wake up and come down to “help.”
As part of the morning breakfast preparation, I indulge myself with a little talk radio from a local FM talk station called 97.1 FM Talk. Most all of the commentators are politically conservative (I by nature am politically conservative. When I was growing up, I remember handing out President Reagan door hangers and campaign flyers with my dad! To give you some ideas as to my upbringing, my dad thought President Reagan was a moderate). But I digress…..
The 7:00 to 10:00 a.m. time slot on 97.1 is dominated by Dr. Randy Tobler. I will say at the outset that my own views are almost always in harmony with Dr. Tobler, politically speaking. The only real issue I have had with Randy, causing a rather passionate response from myself, wasn’t actually political but rather educational. Educational technology to be exact. He proposed that the Internet was not a viable tool for and held no educational value for children before the age of fifteen years of age. As matter of fact, the use of the Internet was detrimental to child development (cognitive, social, and emotional). He sighted the current Megan Meier Case.
Now many of you who read ed tech blogs on a regular basis recognize the absurdity in the reality of this opinion (maybe "absurdity" is a strong word?). I respect Dr. Tobler immensely, except when it comes to this opinion.
Before I go into a more specific argument, I’d first like to apologize to Randy. I’ll admit that I was a bit too passionate on the phone that morning (not "I" over "E"). I am always nervous when I call, and then feeling a bit “hot under the collar” didn’t help matters any. Another caveat is that talk radio is not a good forum to discuss such a broad topic as “educational technology.” During the course of our brief conversation about five different topics where raised and each one is uniquely important to the total conversation of ed tech. When he took my phone call I stated that I wasn’t likely to change his mind because he didn’t have a full grasp on the intricacies of the ed tech conversation and I meant it. It's hard to have a "sound-bit" conversation without time to dive in.
So, what I’d like to do is write a series of blog posts to lay out my arguments for engaging ECC, Elementary, and Middle School students with the Internet and utilize the web as an effective learning tool. Hopefully Dr. Tobler will be able to "tune-in" to my future blog posts!
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