Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wi-Fi and the Community

This post by David Warlick does not at first seem to be relevant to school media centers, but I am reminded of the article I read about Valerie Diggs and her Learning Commons at Chelmsford High School in Massachusetts (Teacher Librarian, 36.4). She used the "Starbucks" model of coffee shop-as-meeting place to bring students together in the library. This, according to the article, has worked very well. I wonder, though, as I push for wireless Internet in my building, whether our we will find that our students become more interested in their own community or less. Will the availability of instant communication across the country and globe make our small community less important and just plain boring? How will we, as educators, bring the world to our students and still keep their interest in their immediate community. I've noticed my students are already more likely to have "conversations" through texting or some kind of instant messaging than face-to-face. How do we emphasise the importance of personal communication in addition to all the exciting cyber-communication? Just some food for thought.

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