Just think about it…

Just think about it……….

1o years ago, if I wanted to find out about Biston Betularia and Industrial Melanism I would have had to venture to my local library, search the  catalogue and hope that a book they had contained some information about what it is. My best bet may have been the hard copy of World Book or Encyclopedia Brittanica.  

Last night, after seeing a tweet from factlets about the Peppered Moth in England, I had cause to consider the speed at which you can acquire information these days. Jo Hart, from Perth, replied to my tweet with this;

Biston betularia and industrial melanism – thnq Jenny you just took me back to my younger self at uni   

Now I’d never heard of Biston Betularia and Industrial Melanism, but a quick Google search led me to a page of results  (with 3,100 results) for me to peruse.  Quite quickly I’d ascertained it’s origins and how the Peppered Moth was the best-studied example of this. If I had have visited Mahalo, I would have discovered a page listing images, video and results from Twitter. Right now if you visit this page you’ll see Jo’s reply to me listed in the Twitter results. Now that is cool!

I recounted this story to a work colleague today and we both marvelled at the rapidity of information retrieval today. Even though this is commonplace now, it still holds me in awe of the power of internet based search.  It makes me look at our non-fiction collection and question why we invest considerable dollars purchasing slim tomes for $40.00 a pop that may languish there untouched for years. It’s particularly relevant to question this when you work in a 1:1 environment (that means all of your students have laptops). I’ve said it before, the students at my school look to the internet first for information before they would think of venturing to the shelves. When I think of my practice now, I’m the same. It has certainly evolved from when I first started teaching  at Toorak College nearly 4 yrs ago.

Now, to think about what search might be like 10 years from now?……..

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Just think about it…

  1. And teachers at my school look at me like I’ve got two heads when I suggest that our whole non-fiction section for our new BER library should be ditched in favour of online resources! Still too many teachers complain about students turning to Google and that they need to develop other skills for acquiring information. I can see their point but ignoring what you outline above is “head in the sand” behaviour that can only catch them out in the future.

    • jennylu

      You know I’m going to agree with you Graham. I face the same battles, but with staff not kids. People accustomed to print have a hard time letting go. I wonder how they will be operating 10 years from now though? I suspect they will have little choice.

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