My Analog Roots/AnchorsPosted: March 14, 2012
I spent quite a few hours today casting off my analog anchors. This involved sorting through two bookshelves of teaching materials spanning a 17 career (so far). I have over time thinned out the papers and resources to what I think at the time is a core set. Now, with my position as an educational technologist, I no longer need quite as many content resources from language arts, math, science, and social studies. There are some units that I worked really hard to create and continue to place on my shelf with the idea that I might go back to the classroom at some time or that I might share my hard work with another teacher. My health unit for fifth and sixth grade, my optics unit, and the Self-Paced, Hands-On Math Lab are all in this category. There are also pedagogy and affective education resources that form the core of my teaching practice. They are on the shelf. I plan to bring the resources that I no longer need to my current school and offer them to anyone who wants to take up room on their shelves.
My whole career, minus binders of curriculum resources from each year, now fits on one bookshelf.
If I was starting teaching now, and indeed this is my current practice, I would not have the binders, I would not have the handouts, I would not have the paper. It would all be digital. I began to do this years ago as I created reading comprehension work that prepared students for standardized test questions but drew from content related to the units I was teaching. Over time, I have made use of the scan to email feature on copiers. It saves the whole filing and organizational issues that used to take up many file cabinets.
It is funny to think that all of the documents I have created over my teaching career easily fit on a USB drive. If you add in the yearbooks, videos, and photos, I probably take up a good sized hard drive.