The combination of children, books and a computers all rolled into one drew me to this image. My name is Gordon Higginson. I am an elementary school principal in Vernon, B.C. I have been a principal for ten years and in that time my responsibilities have included the selection and purchasing of books and print resources as well as electronic technology. I have had discussions and debates with librarians who have insisted on buying another set of World Book Encyclopedias, even though the consensus on my staff was to purchase digital media and software that, arguably, had more engaging content. I have seen many software products come and go that claim to have a high level of educational relevance for reading, though the students using the software are absorbed much more by the game concept of the program and seem to be minimally engaged by the actual teaching component. I have encountered students who won’t pick up a book. I work with students who won’t use the computer to assist them to read.
As I proceed through this course I hope to gain more perspective and insight into the balance between old forms of text delivery and new. I hope to develop a more defined framework for assessing what reading and writing technologies are appropriate for which students, based on their skills and challenges. And, admittedly, I am hoping to become more efficient at all aspects of this learning environment, as this is my first MET course.