Jim Burke has pretty impressive credentials.
From the Heinemann's Author's website,
teaches "at Burlingame High School every day as I have for the last sixteen years and plan to do for many more to come" and
In five years (three? two?!) I will not ask my high school students to open the 6.5 pound textbooks that currently sit on the floor under the desks. . . . Here is what will be different:From what I've read, but NOT tried, Kindle 2.0 enables almost all of these experiences. Meanwhile, it's going to be a bumpy ride to Jim's "there." It will emerge at different speeds in different forms in different places. But there is little question that's where the train is heading.
- The article they read might be from that day's San Francisco Chronicle, downloaded for free as part of the digital version of Newspapers in Education program.
- Those who find it more helpful will, instead of reading the words with their eyes, pop in their earbuds from their iPods and hit the Audio button to listen to the book read to them (choosing from a menu of different voices) while they follow along with their eyes.
- When they encounter a word they do not know, they will simply highlight it and click a button and the definition will appear with the option of an audio link. If they encounter references (cultural literacy references) they will highlight and search the encyclopedia (or wikipedia) for the necessary background knowledge in context.
- They will read actively, marking up the text with a stylus or some other means, saving these to a notepad on the DBook where they can jot down brief notes to prepare for the subsequent discussion using the keyboard on the DBook.
- When they finish, I will flash a quiz on the screen which they can use the embedded interactive wireless voting button to answer the questions. I will ask them all to choose the answer they think is best for each one; we will discuss these as we go, using wrong answers to provide opportunities for discussion and clarification. It will feel a bit like a game show; it will be fun; it will be instructionally productive and effective.
- For homework, they will write (or use the voice recognition option to orally compose) a paragraph in which they summarize and respond to the article.
- When they come in the following day, I will ask them to upload their homework wirelessly, after which we will discuss what they wrote (for they will still have it to refer to).
- After warming up with this discussion, they will click into the assigned novel they are reading, the previous day's news article having prepared them to read the next section in the novel.
- After they read for a bit to answer the questions I provided them, they will click a button that will take them into a social network within which students post their remarks, interacting with each other through writing in a threaded discussion, their visible avatars and real names keeping them accountable.
- After ten minutes or so, we come back as a class, at which point I use comments from their discussion--which I have monitored and joined to nudge their thinking in certain directions when needed--to lead a focused discussion about what they meant, what the author was saying, and how that related to(which is only a click away to return to for easy reference).
As I argued in this morning's post , the College train will start to leave the station February 2009. K-12 is not far behind.