I miss the set of encyclopedias that we had when I was a kid.
I miss their smell, their pictures, their wealth of knowledge (providing a nerd like me with hours of reading) and I also miss the way they pressed flowers perfectly.
However, the information contained in them would mostly be out of date by now. As humans are always discovering and always learning, new information is always being found. Or, if not new information, then different information. Clarification. Which means, that a new set of encyclopedias would need to be printed. Which used to happen, until someone discovered that the internet could save money and resources. And so, it was discovered that the internet could be a faster, cheaper way of keeping encyclopedia information up to date.
As I am guiding my Year 2 prac class through researching for an information report, my first thoughts went to the library. Books!!! But the new ‘ICT mode’ teacher in me also thought about up to date information on the internet. I am fortunate to be on prac at a higher socio-economic school, and every student has a chromebook. So I have been able to have the best of both worlds. Teaching students to use both books and the internet to research information. Not Google, though, as I don’t like to think of what students could potentially find! I used the on-line resource of the Encyclopedia Britannica. ‘Children-ified’ with 3 reading stages, pictures and videos. Amazing.
So though I may mourn the loss of something that was special to me in my childhood, I can also embrace the new understanding of what it means to be a student in the twenty-first century.