In this day and age, I can’t believe I find myself posing this question. Where do I get my information? Online, of course! Google it, right?
I can’t remember the last time I picked up a reference book to search for anything. As I pack to move to South Carolina, I find myself donating dictionaries, thesauruses, atlases, reference books, and almanacs to the Salvation Army, doubtful that I will have any use for any of them, unless of course the Internet goes down. In that case, the world would have to shut down anyway. (Have you seen that South Park episode?)
So why this post? As I was walking through my school library today, I observed my Media Specialist teaching a lesson on using print resources materials, posing questions such as, “Which reference book would you look in to find the population of the United States?” Really? Do you mean the population in 2011 (or even earlier when the book was published), or the real time population today? If I had a question about population, it would be much more interesting like looking at demographic trends over time in cities, regions or counties in my state or country. Can you enter these types of variables into your reference book and then resort the data? Don’t get me wrong. I love books. I’m old. But come on. Why are we teaching kids to access static print resources when the world is at their fingertips?
And therein lies the rub and one of the reasons I am looking to lead in a less static environment. Parents are entrusting me to take care of their children's education when they are away from them. They don't need their parent's education, most of which is, or soon will be, obsolete. The world is dynamic. Too many of my colleagues and our schools are not.
I want to be able to live and work and explore in the here and now (and the future). If something needs to change because it doesn’t make sense, I want to be able to do it, without focus groups, curriculum review committees, pilots, let’s wait until next year, and that’s not how we have always done it. I wish I had made this big move earlier in my career. But then again, maybe I would not have appreciated it as much as I do today?
Make a difference, especially if you are mired in one of the those thousands of bureaucracies across the country known as school systems. Create change. If not you, who?
In my mind I’m going to Carolina….