Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Living within Sci-Fi

We are currently in the midst of a Science Fiction genre study unit in Language Arts. While this is happening, we are taking a close look at what makes Sci-Fi different from other genres; how we see these elements playing out in the world around us, all while using 3 different novels as the lens to look through.
The books we are reading are The White Mountains by John Christopher, Memory Boy by Will Weaver, and The Power of Un by Nancy Etchemendy.
Each novel is unique in its own way - different characters solving unique problems in various plot lines - yet share some common Sci-Fi traits. One element many students struggle with is how the science in Sci-Fi doesn't have to be "out of this world" all the time. To illustrate this point, I gave the students the example of someone telling me as a 6th grader there would be things like texting, IMing, On-Line homework and grade update websites, and of course, blogs.

Extending the thought, I continually find it amazing how much new technology is incorporated into teaching and learning. Even better, many people aren't just doing this for the sake of doing it; these individuals are finding creative, useful and productive ways to use technology in their classrooms to broaden student learning. Living within the current Sci-Fi context of our world is pretty exciting. Hopefully our effective teaching will prepare the students for the Sci-Fi technologies of tomorrow - and also the problems that will come along with them.

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