Yes, this still exists and is in use.
It was sighted yesterday at an open house for a school we’re considering for next year’s high schooler.
And honestly, even though the librarian said they’re in the process of switching over to a computer based system, the fact that in 2014, they still used a card catalog was almost enough to tip my vote. Almost.
Isn’t that strange? Because aren’t we supposed to be attracted by the New Shiny Tech that will assure us that our kids are Ready for the Global Challenges of the 21st Century?
For me, not really. As much as I appreciate Computer Things, I’m a Luddite when it comes to classroom tech. I am not impressed by boasts that “we have an Ipad for every kid!” and fundraisers for yet more classroom tech that will be obsolete in two years.
There was a woman at this open house who had come from another state with her child looking for an alternative school because her daughter’s school had gone to all Ipad for textbooks. No actual books. Just swiping on screens.
I have always suspected that our retention of material read on screens is poorer than that read in print on pages we turn while holding a book. How many times have you recalled a quote or passage and were helped in that memory by the fact that you could remember where the passage lay on the page or how the book felt or smelled?
As an person who has been observing education from various perspectives for about 30 years now, I can say that one of the things that has puzzled me is this:
Over the past decades, we have been constantly reminded that people have different learning styles. Teachers have been exhausted by workshops outlining all the different ways in which they are expected to meet the needs of different learning styles while teaching what a noun is or how to add fractions: visual, auditory, tactile, kinetic..etc…..
So isn’t it strange and counterproductive that as awareness of these different learning styles has grown, we have slowly but surely stripped education of all but the visual? Actually, physically writing things down helps retention – but let’s just type instead. Sitting with a book leads to better retention than swiping screens..but..let’s pulp the books and hand every kid an Ipad instead.
So sure, computer-based cataloging system is far more flexible and less time-consuming and efficient. But isn’t it funny how when an institution isn’t in such a rush to keep up with this ever-changing world, it’s set apart..and inspires a closer look and the intrigued question of why? …instead simply swiping to the next screen?