Does your school organization reflect our new digital information landscape?
CASTLE has been doing a great deal of technology leadership training for the School Administrators of Iowa, some of the Iowa Area Education Agencies, some of the Minnesota Service Cooperatives, and other school organizations across the country. One of the discussion activities that we’ve been doing lately asks session participants to think in groups about the impacts that the Internet and other digital technologies have had on various sectors of our society:
This is not an exclusive list - for example, it doesn’t include the postal service or politics / political campaigning [or real estate agents] - but it does include many of the major sectors in our society that are information-oriented. In other words, they’re societal sectors and activities that, at their heart, are all about information and knowledge in one form or another.
In groups, participants can quite easily identify that ALL of these societal sectors are undergoing major, radical transformations because of digital technologies. Information-oriented societal activities are being reshaped in significant ways, and it’s just getting started as digital tools and environments continue to advance at a rapid pace.
Characteristics of our new digital information landscape
If asked to describe the ideas or themes that cut across all of these societal changes, participants can identify the general characteristics of our new digital information landscape. It is
These apply to us too!
The challenge for us as leaders, of course, is that P-12 schools also are information-oriented institutions. At our hearts, we too are all about information:
Because of this, schools shouldn’t expect that they somehow will be immune from the same changes that are radically altering other information-oriented societal sectors. We can’t continue to pretend that these revolutions aren’t going to affect us too, in significant and as-yet-unknown ways.
How many of the big ideas / cross-cutting themes above describe your school? Does the daily work of your school organization reflect our new digital information landscape?
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Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
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