Technology Helps Students Enjoy Reading and Research

Steve Adubato has an energetic conversation with Benjamin Joseph, Media Specialist at Walnut Ridge Primary School, about the technology he is using to help students enjoy research and reading. Mr. Joseph also shares the ways he works with parents who believe he is using “too much technology” in the classroom.

12/3/16 #2588






"We're joined by Benjamin Joseph, media specialist, Walnut Ridge Primary School based where? Vernon, New Jersey. Beautiful Vernon, New Jersey. All the way at the tip where the Appalachian Trail runs through. What does it mean to be a media specialist? It's a great question. I've been in the library for six years, and I use that kind of interchangeably with the ages that I work with. But I think the first year, it was adapting a library that was child friendly and picture focused and now over time with 21st century skills, it's really changed into media resources, using tech as tools, building social projects and atmospheres for students to be able to talk and build those foundational skills. So you're using technology to be innovative, to teach, to engage students, right? Yes. You have brought a whole range of fascinating technology. That's right. We would need two hours to go through all of them. Yes. But we're going to pick our spots. That's right. You tell me. Now this is fascinating. I'm going to do this one. Tell me what we're doing here. Follow me here. I'm going to throw these notes away. I don't need them. So this is a new pen that I've taken time to record my voice on, and the book is called "Duck Rabbit". Well, while this is going on right now? That's right. Well it's a nice little beep and letting you know that you could. Alright. Let's just check that the light is lit up. Go ahead. Okay, you're all set to go. So here we go. Check this out team. Now I know what it says. I could read it, but... [machine speaking] "What are you talking about?" That's my voice. Is that your voice? That's my voice, yes. You did this? That's right. And then we turn the page. [machine speaking] "Those ears are silly." So Steve, the question is though, what do you think that is? What do you mean? What is that? Is that a duck or a rabbit? That's a rabbit! Well I think it's a duck. Are we supposed to have a debate about this? I think so. And that's the point of view that we're teaching kids these days. Now let's do it at four years old and five years old without the worry of if we're reading the right words. But now we're having a conversation around a book with a little bit of tech. So you're saying that someone would say, "Oh, that this technology reads the book for the kid?" That's not what it is? No, not at all..."