Eco-Friendly Childcare Center: Start One With Me?

January 9, 2008

How neato-burrito is this? A new childcare facility in Atlanta is opening as one of the first in the country

 to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED standards for environmentally sustainable construction. Forgoing the formal LEED certification, FIO360’s Eco Early Care and Learning Boutique will actually surpass the Council’s standards, providing an entirely eco-friendly operation with organic/locally-grown food, natural/organic personal care products and earth-friendly cleaners throughout the facility.

Many of my mother-pals and I have had our moments of daydreaming up how we could start and run a childcare place here in Cville, which is notoriously expensive and hard to navigate when it comes to finding appropriate care (especially for babies). Reading about this new place excites my imagination once again… Heck, I’d love to start a whole new school system, if I had the wherewithall to do so…

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Tools are not Content

January 2, 2008

A thoughtful post by Jim Duncan brings up an issue that really fires up my ire – about technology tools in the classroom. Apparently, Jim and other local “tech experts” (professionals who blog?) sat on a recent panel with educators to discuss the best ways to use tools like Twitter and blogs in the classroom – and surprise, surprise, it was the techies who were arguing that the basics of reading and writing and critical thinking should be taught instead of how to make a video podcast – and the educators who were all caught up in the idea that teaching these tools would solve whatever problems they’re having –

Well, great – so you teach a generation of kids to use iPods and video cameras and WordPress – things they probably already know how to use anyway – but none of them have read a book or thought deeply about anything, so they have all these mechanisms and gadgets and forums and formats but NO CONTENT in their heads to express!!!! DUMB.

Seriously. Makes me so mad.

I’m too tired to go into the whole ‘medium is the message’ thing – but let me just say that if the only thing we focus on in educating our children is the medium, and if we limit the media to the briefest of text messages, their thoughts, their language, their ability to follow and create complicated articulations about the world, will be severely retarded.

What do you think? 

By the way, I spent an hour with my two year old yesterday playing with crayons she had turned into little personalities of her own invention. She has dolls and baby dolls and little people and stuffed animals, but it was the pretending with the crayons that entranced her for that long.  That is, the content and activity in her brain was being exercised – not her ability to use a tool correctly. And I believe she’ll be the stronger for it…