Friday, October 24, 2008

Don’t Be the Bat Lady!


A few weeks back, I took my son to a local nature center to see a presentation on Bats. The woman who spoke was a nice woman who volunteered her time to present on a topic she is very knowledgeable about. However, all I could think the entire time she was speaking was, "I could have found this information online in a fraction of the time." Then I got to thinking...

How often in education are we the Bat Lady? We stand up and lecture to our students about the topic of the week. Why? Do we think they will retain much of what we say? I can say that I did not remember much of what the Bat Lady said. Do we fear giving kids the freedom and power to find the information on their own? Do we not trust that they will be able to find it? Maybe they won't. But they will never find it if we don't start teaching them how to be efficient searchers and sifters of information.
I think the Bat Lady would have been better served to excite my son and I about bats and encourage us to learn more. She waited until the very end to play a short video about bats. Why not show it sooner to get us hooked? Why not let us turn the room into a bat cave and determine what we would need to survive? She could provide the information, but we would access it as we needed it, not when she determined we should need it.

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