Now, before you even ask, yes, there is a reason I blurred out my Wonder Woman’s face. And no, I’ll not tell you anything beyond one word: politics *spit*
It was a dark and stormy night… Really. Snowflakes as big around as a heifer’s eye were stampeding down on the Sunflower State when my Wonder Woman was striding across the stage (to her very common name’s mispronunciation by a cultural illiterate) to recieve her empty diploma case while having her “Academic Dean’s Honors” status (4.0 average) announced.
And so, 34 years after her BS, she added an MS (Ed Tech/MLS) to her curriculum vitae. One of a very few bright spots in an otherwise gloomy sitch for public education. Seriously. Sure, adding the masters degree was pretty much de rigeur once she left the classroom to start serving kids’ learning needs in the library (yes, bureaucrats are pushing for more ticket-punching there), but while I generally deride professional certification degrees–and especially in education–I saw some value in the courses and activities she was required to fulfill for this degree.
1. Few “education” classes. Yeh, there were education theory and practice classes included in the mix, each and every one filled to the brim with typical education school hokum. But given the emphasis of her degree, these were thankfully few and easily set aside after having those mini-tickets punched.
2. Most of the classes seriously addressed–and offered avenues for genuine creativity in–the need to make sure that using computers and the like in the library (and classroom–she still does classroom teaching, but now ALL the students are hers) are useful in learning, that measureable objectives in use of technology to aid learning are clear and that actual learning of useful information results, rather than kids just learning how to use computers; IOW, that kids learn how to use computers (and the like) to learn, to do independent research well, etc.
3. Oh, there was no neglect of the other, typical MLS topics, topics anyone who’s had to use a library for research appreciates when they have the aid of a librarian who has MLS training as opposed to someone who has not.
4. But of all the reasons I came–finally–to view this degree as a good thing for the schools here, one is a standout: having a lil more clout with the IT people to DEMAND (nicely, she’s always TOO nice, IMO) that the equipment be configured so that users can, well, USE it to do useful things (instead of just being configured for the convenience of IT folks, as has all too often been the case). *heh*
Now, that’s about all I’ll say here applying to her (new) degree except, “WTG, Wonder Woman!”
Other observations, lessons drawn from the ceremony/event may follow later. For now, enough to say, “Well done, Wonder Woman!”