Blogs About Reading

Sound It Out

Dr. Joanne Meier

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

World wide waste of time?

August 2, 2010

I really enjoyed this blog post Kickin it Old School by a teacher reflecting on technology in her classroom. "Give me a library card and a piece of chalk and stand back and watch me work," she writes of her old way of thinking. This teacher's thinking about technology evolved, but she stands steadfast in her belief that the world wide web shouldn't take us away from the "wide world of wonder."

The post made me think about the teaching ideas teachers are busy planning this summer. To what extent do they involve technology? Does technology enhance your teaching, or distract from it? I'd love to hear your opinion.



I just recently started a website collecting videos of children's books from the web. I use there videos to get my little girl reading and it seems to work. We see the videos after we first read the book. I honestly believe that this use of technology encourages reading.The website -

I don't think it is a question of technology/computers vs. books. As one of the other comments brought out, our minds, just like our bodies, need a balanced diet. However, as a former kindergarten teacher, daycare provider, mother of three and author of a book that pinpoints 100 picture books every young child should hear and provides a story summary, positive parenting note, eco-friendly craft project and child-friendly healthful recipe for each recommended book title, I must admit I feel we need to encourage young children to love books. There is something so amazing about the world that opens up to a child as he turns the pages of a book...and the personal interaction between listener (the child) and reader (the adult) is so much a part of the whole experience. I think that is what we lose when we concentrate too heavily on computers. Liz Kennedy, the guide for, is hosting a blog carnival that addresses the start of school...a number of guides provide great information for various grade levels. My post provides several picture book recommendations and activities to help young children feel more comfortable about the first day of school (or nursery school). You can check it out at Books are valuable, not only for entertainment and enjoyment, but to help child deal with various issues as they grow up.

I'm an Indiana grad student in instructional systems technology, unfortunately very much a neophyte at teaching young minds and utilizing technology to help with this. This spring I was exposed to a semester long seminar on using the World Wide Web to advance learning and was swept away by the breadth of knowledge available and ways instructors can use it to guide learning. Technology opens doors to almost limitless information but what I've come to realize is that it allows you to bring the best minds directly to students. We had several chats in the spring via the web where our class could interact directly with leading thinkers located globally. One session tied us to a professor in western England, another lived in Nova Scotia, another in Tokyo. These was done relatively seamlessly without sophisticated technical expertise to enable. I was amazed and felt a sense of wonder, much like the comment in this post of the "wide world of wonder." Hefre is the URL for the course syllabus. It demonstrates the range of knowledge and methods that are currently in practice with the web . One lesson that I learned was to appreciate the potential of technology, and use it as an enabler.

When I think of technology being used in the classroom, my feelings are often positive. I have used technology successfully in the classroom and I fully believe in getting students involved as well. Sometimes what I think happens in a classroom is that a teacher gets so involved in the technology piece that they forget about all of the resources in their communities and how much more valuable those resources could be to their students. It reminds me of a TV commercial where a child mentions something about how a tv can't get you to an actual place and allow you to actually feel the experience. Technology is supposed to be helpful to us and enhance our instruction. It shouldn't lead our instruction and it should not be something that our classrooms revolve around. A computer could never replace the amazing things in the world around us, but they can sure help us to enhance our student's ideas about the world around them.

A well-balanced diet is important to maintain a healthy mind and body. In the same sense, I think a well-balanced diet of old school and new school (technology) is important to stimulate young minds. As educators, our job is to create thinkers and problem solvers. We need to teach our students to know how to use the all the tools available to them to come up with a solution to a problem.

Add comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
"I feel the need of reading. It is a loss to a man not to have grown up among books." —

Abraham Lincoln