Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Future of Books

I own about 700 books. These books range from children picture books to how to books, and educational books. I love having a personal library or as I see it, my very own bookstore. Some of the books I've had since childhood, some I bought, some were gifts, and some were freebies.

Now you can purchase ebooks. I think ebooks are great, especially if you're traveling, and some of the children picture ebooks are more interactive than a normal book, but normal books should not be forgotten. I don't think they will, at least I hope not, and if they do I'm sure it won't happen for a long time...right? Just think how quickly technology has changed how we do things. It is standard now that everyone has a cell phone and a tv. Many households have a computer, but not all. How soon will ebooks replace books?

How soon will schools start purchasing etextbooks for students? That could be really helpful-if publishers have minor updates to the text changes could easily be fixed and newer versions shouldn't cost as much, it would cut down on costs (not having to replace the text) and it would reduce paper consumption, but jobs would be lost. Schools could just add an ereader to the supply list. How long do you think it will take, if ever?

What about public libraries, and school libraries? How will they be effected? Already the catalog system has changed over to computers. How many of you remember filtering through cards in drawers to find the library book you wanted? What other things do you think will be effected?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Report Cards for Parents

A Florida State Representative has proposed a bill that would require teachers to grade parents. I have mixed feelings about this. I agree with teachers' concerns that having report cards for parents adds to the already overloaded workload of the teacher, but I really like the what State Rep. Kelli Starge says in the video, "Teachers are being accountable. We're holding students accountable. We're holding administrators accountable. This is basically the missing link."

Woo-hoo! At least someone is trying to find a way to hold parents accountable too. As I said in a previous post, "What about the parents!?!?" Parents (typically but not in all situations) are the constant in a child's life; ultimately it is the parent that set the standard for what is or isn't acceptable (not just in school but in life).

The suggested report card would grade parents on four areas: homework, attendance, good night's sleep, and the parent's communication with the teacher. More work? Yes. But not too much. Usually when you are filling out a student's report card you consider these things; attendance is usually on every report card as well as a section that asks the teacher to grade students on if they come prepared for class-meaning did the student complete their homework, do they have everything they need, are they well rested. That's three of the four right there.

My only complaint is the homework section. Some teachers give out way too much homework that is not realistic (see my post about homework). I think that all teachers should tell parents an appropriate time that students should spend on homework (for me that was 30 minutes to an hour on each assignment sent home, math and reading). If a parent notices their child spending more time than that they should stop their child and write the teacher a note (because after an hour working on something you are no longer productive and most likely just getting frustrated). This way I can do my job and help the student with areas they are struggling in. If this becomes the standard teachers could easily complete a report card for parents, capturing homework completion and communication.

This is an interesting idea and I'm glad someone is trying to figure out a way to hold parents accountable. I can see parents getting upset thinking they are being critiqued on parenting skills, but this report card does not grade parenting skills it grades parent involvement, things any parent can do to help their child in school (which some parents really need). Basically this is another document that teachers can use to let parents know how their child is doing in school and targeting things all parents can do to help their child.

Check out these videos:

Also check out's report, parentdish's report, and a parental involvement report card by Project Appleseed.