The more I hear the word textbook, the more I shudder.  Its accurately named, isn’t it?  A book filled with text.  And I think about all the tools available to use to help kids learn, and it just seems somewhat primitive. Not that books are bad, of course, its that we just have more content options available to us.  Yet we rely on the textbook, along with the teacher, as the only two respected information resources in our schools.

The more I hear the word classroom, the more I shudder.  Close your eyes and visualize a classroom.  We all have the same image.  For me, the use of the word classroom is highly restrictive and resigns learning to a four walled space, designated within a typical time frame.  I now talk about learning spaces, which I believe to be expansive and potentially inclusive of multiple learning locations, both physical and digital, and available at times beyond 8-3:30.

And this is much more than semantics.  In his NYSCATE keynote, Chris Lehmann said (and I paraphrase) “Words matter.  It’s what we have to explain things.”

These terms are so ingrained in our vocabulary we don’t even think conscientiously about using them.

It’s time to get some new vocabulary.

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