Earlier this month I asked if we educational technology advocates could articulate a clear vision of what lies at the other end of all of this change for which we're advocating. In other words, what does the end result look like? Can we articulate the desired state of things in a clear, concise manner that's easily conveyable to others?
Here are a few responses to my post:
- Mr. Chase: The end result is a classroom in which students' personal needs are first recognized and valued by a teacher who takes the time to learn who each student is as an individual and then uses the limitless reach of tools, 1.0 and 2.0, to create a learning experience that encourages shared ownership and elevated expectations.
- John Gross: A motivated student will learn in spite of us, in spite of how we teach. The vision at the end of the tunnel is a student who can enter society knowing who and where he/she is and where he/she is going. . . . My vision would be a classroom full of kids teaching and learning from each other. Teaching is changing almost as rapidly as technology and the kids know far more about how to use it to arrive at their ends than we do.
- Alice Mercer: we should teach Three C's: critical thinking, creativity and continuous learning. I suppose it could also be critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration.
- Margie Brown: I believe Scott's ideas are, indeed, what an engaged classroom looks like. An engaged classroom being a place where student's experiences and learning last longer and have a deeper impact than the upcoming state test.
- David Warlick: What McLeod is looking at is important, what the teaching and learning experience should look like. But I wonder if this is a bit premature, that perhaps we should go back to his question and take it out another notch, What should the end result, the person who graduates from our schools, look like? It seems that with the answer to this question, we might better envision what their schooling experience should be. First of all, I see graduates who can teach themselves. I'm starting to call this learning literacy, and I think that it is THE literacy we should be teaching - the skills to resourcefully use your information environment to help yourself learn what you need to know, to do what you need to do. I would also want to see graduates who know who, what, where, and when they are. They need to have developed a comfortable and confident sense of their culture, their physical environment, their geographic environment, and their historic circumstance - a context for their experience, one that they hold in common with people they will interact with, collaborate with, and enjoy the company of. They would also be skilled in adapting to new circumstances - able to learn, unlearn, and relearn (Alvin Toffler). Then we think of what the classrooms, teachers, textbooks, technology, blah blah blah, need to look like to accomplish this.
- Jeremiah Patterson: I agree with David's point that the metacognitive process is key. Metacognitive literacy -- understanding of how one/others learn. Social literacy -- understanding how to peaceably navigate the changing world. (From the playground to the floor of the UN.) Environmental literacy -- understanding our place in the earth, and that of others. Literacy -- oh yeah, and understanding how to read and comprehend.
- Heather Ross: The tools and rules are rapidly changing and will continue to do so. Our goal should be to do our best to make sure that the learners know how to find the information they will need, but also what to do with that information.
These are all fabulous posts/comments, but here's my new question: what if these visions aren't compelling enough? What if people in our organization listen to these carefully, treat them seriously, and then say, "No thanks. Not interested?" What if we give it our best shot and people don't buy into it? Then what?