Every time I pick up an issue of Boys’ Life I think how much better students could perform if they just looked that this magazine once a month; you don’t have to be a Scout to subscribe, but why not live the adventures, too?
Will 30-second montages sell more magazines? What more could/should Boys’ Life do on the web?
Here’s an example of the sorts of skills I wish my students had, again from the Boys’ Life YouTube offerings. In “Cache Me If You Can,” these are young Scouts, I’m guessing ages 11 to about 13 from a Troop 6 somewhere in Colorado, out navigating a path through the woods using GPS and hand-held ham radios. I fear most of my 16-18-year-old students would be challenged to do the stuff these younger kids are doing, if they could do it at all.
Of course, while those skills would make them better students more able to understand and use maps and charts, very little of those skills are listed in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. I’m given neither time nor resources to teach them.
- A feature at the Boys’ Life site I really like is the “Wayback Machine,” which allows viewing of many issues of the magazine dating back to 1911 — actualy from March 1911 through December 2009. Alas, the features uses Google Books, so viewing at the site is about all you can do — no copying of the great covers by Boy Scouts of America art director Norman Rockwell, no copying of articles with teachable skills for use as illustrations in lessons. This would be a good research site for high school history projects — Scouts in time of war, Scouting and education, map use, youth in exploration, etc.