Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Book Commentary: A Book vs Technology

I recently read disturbing news that a prep school in Massachusetts is getting rid of it's library----literally! The headmaster at Cushing Academy, James Tracy, is quoted as saying that "When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books."

What a statement, he insists that he is still encourging reading but that reading now will take a new form. Does this mean there will be no text books in his classrooms? Do students even need to go to class anymore? We have all seen the advertisements for going to college online well maybe his whole school can go class via a computer screen. I know that sounds sarcastic but in many ways he is not making sense. Yes we are going towards more technology in our lives, this blog is a testament to that fact, but that does not mean we should give up everything all at once. Some things in life need to be more gradual. We always teach children that to understand our future we need to understand our past. How can we understand our past if we just get rid of it?

Mr Tracy is going about teaching the wrong way. He is teaching all or nothing instead of compromise. Why get rid of all the books? Why not save a corner of the room for a traditional library so that students can have a sense of what a library is. That sometimes perusing a bookshelf can be more satisfying than surfing the net.

As for those "archaic scrolls"---they are considered treasures today!

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