Thursday, April 15, 2010

Future Perfect

The fact that a teaching artist can now scroll through a virtual copy of the world's oldest printed book online, while eating donuts, means we live in what I used to call the future.

The British Library is full of such surprises. They've uploaded the past, so you can read it in the quickly vanishing present. Read old newspapers online, turn the pages of virtual books and documents, listen to audio clips and more. It's useful for lesson planning, but a bit overwhelming if you don't know where to start.

Of course, you'll need a computer and a good internet connection to get the most out of multimedia sites like the ones maintained by the British Library. Schools and students who are without speedy computers and internet access can expect to land on the wrong side of the achievement gap in education. Is a technological gap growing because of school budget cuts, and bad planning? How can teaching artists expect to keep up with advances in social media and technology? 

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