Saturday, November 10, 2007

Don't be impressed

Last week, Beverly DeBase, a reporter with the Dallas Morning News, called to say she had stumbled upon our After-School Academy (ASA) blog (http://www.ourasafamily.blogspot.com/). She was impressed that our elementary-aged children were blogging and had some pretty interesting entries. She wanted to write a story about blogging and the up-and-coming potential that blogging creates in our children.

Beverly came to visit last Friday, which was a scheduled "Service Day" for the kids. As the kids walked around Turner Courts cleaning up, she walked alongside them and talked to those who had started blogging this summer.

When they came back, Beverly sat down with me and asked, "So did they write those blog entries?!" She explained that the children she walked with didn't seem extremely focused and were very nonchalant as they talked to her about blogging. I confirmed that all of the entries were either typed or dicated by the students. Each child involved this summer and each child in our ASA's current technology class knows how to sign on to the blog. If they are too young to type or struggle with their spelling, we ask them if they would rather "dictate." Many of them say yes. Others want to do it on their own. (Look at the blog. You can tell the difference. :) ). If the child is dictating, we may ask questions to spur their memory, but every word typed is verbatim what the child said.

What Beverly seemed somewhat surprised about, and what I hadn't thought about before, is that, to them, talking about blogging is like talking about the football game they watched on TV. It's just another conversation. The kids really don't look at it as some skill that is unusual. It's perfectly normal to them.

I love that our kids are blogging...and taking pictures...and using digital voice recorders...and doing podcasting/audio blogging...and learning to document. I love all of that. But you shouldn't be impressed. Other kids in more resourced parts of our nation are accessing technology regularly in their homes and classrooms and, as a result, are doing amazing things at a young age. Our kids in Turner Courts are no different as far as talent goes. It's just that now they are getting to learn what's out there and actually use it. Where they are right now is not impressive. It is just normal for the world we currently live in. However, keep your eye on them. I have no doubts that what they are learning now is going to lead to great things on down the line!

See Beverly DeBase's article here:
For South Dallas school's children, blogging is elementary
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