Books v 3D-HDTV

I recently presented to a group of colleagues regarding outstanding lessons in secondary education. I had prepared for it; I knew all the things that I wanted to say but, as is always the case, I started ad-libbing. This means that some of my message was missed whilst some unexpected thoughts fought their way from the birth-pool of my brain to be delivered from my lips.

When I look back at the unscripted parts, one utterance in particular stands out. The main reason is that I am surprised that I didn't think about it at the time I put my presentation together. What I said was quite simple. I showed a 1940's photograph of the school that I attended. It was a black and white photograph for obvious reasons.

I made the lame comment that "I went to that school. It wasn't black and white back then." My brain then went into labour and I then said "...but I imagine that the teaching was." The group seemed to be struck by that idea. Teaching used to be very monochromatic. This was at a time that the media was probably very monochromatic and monophonic. We now live in a world of colour. Media is heading toward 3D-HD.. Does it stand that teaching has to do the same too?

Could it be that the link between media and teaching is nothing more than coincidental? Or do we acknowledge that our teaching should reflect the media advances?

As a fan of the written word I can only hope that our students don't mistake reading twitter/facebook/the internet with sitting down and reading a novel for enjoyment. My daughter produced a beautiful piece of artwork entitled "From Campfire to Kindle". It shows the development of story-telling across thousands of years. It is a most captivating piece that I hope to show later.

My main point is this:

Our pupils will be part of an outstanding education system if they are given the gift of reading as soon as possible in their lives. To experience the joy of reading is quite simply the first step toward becoming an outstanding human being.

Thank you for reading.