I saw my librarian carrying a heavy box of encyclopedias into the school the other day and I teased him by holding up my smartphone and suggesting that he set those books down and look up what he needed on Wikipedia. My librarian is a very tech savvy guy and he told me he was donating those encyclopedias to the art teacher for a project.
Here’s the project:
My art teacher had kindergarten students cut up the encyclopedias to make a collage. Talk about personalized ways to organize information! This art project got me thinking about the role of reference books, especially encyclopedias in today’s school. When I started teaching we were all jealous of the teacher who had encyclopedias that were less than ten years old. Wow, our students could look up anything as long as it happened longer than ten years ago- which is before my students were born! In today’s school a student can use a digital device to look up a fact seconds after I ask a question. So I’m ok with kindergarteners cutting up old encyclopedias and gluing the pieces into a collage. Just keep that glue away from my tablet or smartphone!