Assorted Stuff

wasting bandwidth since 1999

Try Not To Fall Too Far Behind

Once in a while in our overly-large school district I get to sit through meetings where my only role is to sit through the meeting.

Part of such a session this morning, involving many of our instructional technology “leaders”, was a discussion of the issue of teachers and students using blogs and other tools for publishing to the real world.

Most of it was the usual hand-wringing over legal issues, communicating to teachers and students what they are not allowed to do, and passing around ideas for setting up closed, “safe” systems.

But one cliche kept popping up – and it speaks volumes about where we are in terms of using the web for teaching and learning.

We’ve got to get ahead of curve on this issue.

Way too late for that!

As with almost anything related to using web technology in education, school systems are not only not ahead of things, they are falling hopelessly behind. Behind most students, some teachers, and certainly the web itself.

To have any hope of actually keeping up, educational “leaders” need to change their whole approach to understanding what the web is, how it works and where it’s going.

For one thing, they’ll get a whole lot more information by listening more closely to the kids rather than to consultants, experts, and sweeps-month TV news reports. Or each other.

But, more importantly, these “leaders” also need to become participants. Start a blog, post some pictures to flickr, create a wiki, participate in an online community.

How can anyone possibly understand what the read-write web is all about unless they do some of the writing?

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  1. KG

    If I’d known you were blogging, I’d have kept my mouth shut–you were the only visionary in that room–and the “shut it down” mentallity is really beginning to get to me. They see obstacles and roadblocks instead of possibilities.

  2. You’re on target, of course. A new vision is needed, but in a time when new visions are considered revolutionary, articulating one is dangerous.

    Yet, it is exactly what must be done. That’s what I have done in my presentation on “Embracing Technology for Positive Change,” which to my surprise, garnered positive feedback.

    Some more suggestions/reflections here:

    Miguel Guhlin
    Around the Corner

  3. “…get ahead of the curve on this one…”?????

    Thanks for sharing that — I needed a good laugh.

    We are so far behind that it’s frightening. We are so far behind, that given the current (and future) nature of work in the “real-world” — what we are doing (and failing to do) could be considered malpractice.

    However — when our administrators (and teachers under pressure from the administrators) are doing nothing except chasing test scores — what can we expect?

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