For the first six years of my career, I taught a middle school computer applications class. Nobody really cared what I taught. They didn’t say that, of course. But the administration knew that kids needed to learn about computers, and … Continue reading Information Illiterate
I’m pretty old. I was thinking about my first job interview. It was 1993. I was asked what I thought about Microsoft Windows. I told them it wasn’t a real operating system. It was just a shell that sat on … Continue reading Nostalgic Optimism
I started this blog experiment 15 years ago. I was looking for a way for my teachers to quickly and easily share information with students. They wanted web sites. We didn’t have a good way of doing web sites. WordPress … Continue reading Reflecting on Reflecting
When my kids were learning to talk, they would often make up words to overcome shortcomings in their vocabularies. They knew, for example, that baby dogs were called “puppies.” But since they didn’t yet know “foal,” a baby horse was … Continue reading What Do You Know?
Daryl Davis is a piano player. In 1983, he was playing country and western music in a bar in Virginia. A patron came up to him and remarked that it was the first time he had ever heard a black … Continue reading Civil Conversations
It’s a funny thing about social media. Sometimes, it can be kind of social. That’s fantastic. It’s great for democracy. It’s a monumental shift in how information is managed. It changes the structure of power. Everyone has the means to … Continue reading Listen: We Need a Community
On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog. In 1993, Peter Steiner captured the sentiment that I was trying to convey to my students. The Internet was the great equalizer. Middle school students can be pretty judgmental. If you don’t have the right clothes, or the right hairstyle, or like the right kind of music, or have the right body type, or reject the right authority figures, you can quickly find yourself ostracized. Most of them have felt that pressure to conform, to be the same as everyone else. I was trying to explain that it’s okay to be different … Continue reading My Word