Don't read this article

I really wanted to like the Creating Valuable Class Web Sites article in the May 2008 issue of Learning and Leading With Technology. I really did. I believe strongly that teachers should be incorporating digital technologies into their instruction and communication with students and parents, and I know that teachers can use all of the good ideas, best practices, and resources that we can provide. But then I read the article (hat tip to Sylvia Martinez and Bud Hunt) and I was completely dismayed...


As Sylvia and Bud noted on Twitter, many of the web sites presented by the author are quite dated. Geocities and Tripod: weren't those big in the 1990s? Netscape Composer: Seriously? FrontPage: didn't Microsoft quit selling that a while ago? The inclusion of such tools calls into serious question the currency, and thus credibility, of the author's expertise.


The Resources section at the end was similarly lacking. Take a look at Blog Connection. It was one of the two best blogging sites the author could recommend for K-12 educators? And EdBlogger Praxis? The site that hasn't been updated since February 2007? At least the author linked to eMINTS when it came to wikis...


Instead of tables of outdated web resources and an irrelevant resources section, the author should have included current tools rather than those from 5–10 years ago. Some discussion of the desirability of using outside, non-district-sponsored tools also would have been nice. Instead, the article reads like it was cobbled together by someone who's rooted in the technology of yesteryear rather than today. This was an opportunity squandered. Is this stuff what the author teaches her students? Doesn't ISTE have a responsibility to do some checking of article content?


Learning and Leading With Technology is supposed to be helpful to educators in 2008, not 1998. And usually it fulfills that function extremely well. I hate to say this - because I'm rarely critical in public of others (unless they're clueless leaders who should know better) – but the author and the ISTE editors didn't do their job with this one.


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