Access, Books, Computers - Community Lit. ABCs

I check in with Bill Mullin's Weblog - Tech Thoughts daily for news about the latest malware and how to stay safe. But I also dream of better. That's why I visit Techcrunch a couple of times a day. And when Brian Kelly told me about the new STRIDE E-Learning Handbook, I downloaded the pdf file immediately.

I also read Kelly Walsh's Emerging EdTech. Mr. Walsh's day job is Director of Institutional Information & Technology at The College of Westchester in White Plains, NY. Apparently not having enough to do through the week, on the weekends he researches ed-tech topics and posts his learning on his personal blog. Kelly writes, "The possibilities for the use of current and emerging internet technologies in the education field are limitless." Still, his writing stay rooted in the do-able, not just the possible. That's why his blog stays on my shorter reading list.

Right now, for example, he's in the middle of figuring out how I'm going to make and edit learning videos for free using my vista laptop and digital camera. (Things aren't looking great, but I have faith.)

I dream of better.

But sometimes community literacy work looks like the picture above: me in some lady's apartment trying to coax a 13 year old Win98 machine back to life.

It turned out that the machine was too far gone - there was a physical fault in the hard-drive - and I'll have to help her find a new computer. She was disappointed because she used the PC daily for writing or playing spelling games, some of which have been lost with the machine.

That's okay. We'll get her fixed up with something by next weekend.

Meantime, her computer wasn't the only reason for my visit. She wanted some help with a reading-writing workbook, and with using an atlas. She was also interested in borrowing some lower-level adult novels.

I took a half dozen of the Oxford Bookworm series, some of the newer Quick Reads, and a handful of other titles, and she picked out four she wanted for the week.

They were good choices, and it wasn't surprising that during my cryptic computer mumblings she drifted off into a novel. Something to think about the next time you read some tech-dreamer's post about how e-readers and the internet are going to replace books.


Bill said...

Hi Wendell,

Just a thought - many Community Collages are into teaching video related programs, and are often looking for class projects.

Your current project may well fit the criteria for such a class project. This idea may, at first glance, seem a little far fetched, but.....


Wendell said...

... but worth thinking about.

I think about all those wonderful how-to videos on Youtube, or the interaction on uStream, and dream of making basic literacy and numeracy more accessible in our largely rural province.

(I suspect it's harder than it seems, and that face-to-face contact really is needed, but...)

Best wishes!