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Old vs. New

December 21, 2006

Within the past two weeks I have had two conversations with two English teachers regarding NoodleTools.  During the course of these two conversation, it became clear that these teachers would not use NoodleTools because, as one put it, “we are teaching the students to manipulate the technology, not teaching them to do a bibliography page.”  It was also mentioned that when the students leave our school then they will not have this resource and so will nto have learned how to do a bibliography.  My question is are they learning when they do it by hand?  I guess my whole point is that even now students are not memorizing formats for bibliographies.  At least with NoodleTools they are learning that they need to cite sources and what information they need to do this.  In answer to not having this source, I have provided both with a list of free sites that students can use when they don’t have NoodleTools.  My other argument to them is that right now, if I had to cite a source I would have to look up how to format it.  I also know that in the past two years both of these teachers have come to ask me how to cite certain sources or at least where to look to see citation formats.  Doesn’t this seem odd that they expect students to be able to look up the information and format it correctly from a piece of paper they provide.  Is it really so important to know where to place the period or that they are giving credit to others?  I had one student comment after using NoodleTools that he will now do a works cited page whenever a teacher requests one because the program makes it easier.  Before he never did one because he always got it wrong.  His thinking was that he lost the points anyway through his mistakes so why put himself through the pain and waste time.  I guess my whole point is we have to ask ourselves whether or not it is know how to do the bibliography or just that it gets done and the students realize they need to give credit where credit is do?

P.S. Both of these teachers are my former English teachers.  Yes, they did teach me how to a bibliography page and today, some odd years later, I still have to look up how to cite sources.

One Comment leave one →
  1. jamie permalink
    March 19, 2007 1:24 pm

    I so agree with you–this goes to the conversation that you noted in a previous post about Jeff’s comments on Thinking Stick, and to David Warlick’s many comments in his blogs too. Information is no longer precious and slowly changing. It is now cheap, ubiquitous and *constantly* changing. So our focus as educators should be to teach our students how to *access* information by creating their own learning community and by helping them to use tools to meet their information needs. It’s no longer about the information–it’s about the access.
    BTW, I think perhaps I have these teachers’ clones in my elementary school…change is more difficult for some…

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