A few random thoughts that have traveled through my brain today…
Next week I am giving two presentations at the Minnesota educational technology (TIES) conference. One is on administrator blogging. One of the new bloggers from our Principal Blogging Project, a principal who works in one of the wealthiest, high-achieving suburban school districts in the country, was going to Skype in with a webcam and talk to the audience for 10 minutes about his experiences as a principal new to blogging. He just e-mailed me to cancel – one of the reasons, he was chagrined to admit, is that there isn’t a single webcam in the entire district. Yikes!
After reading David Warlick’s post (and the accompanying comments) on ‘fencing in the learning,’ I am struck by how many different reasons we educators can come up with for not putting kids’ needs first. As David said long ago, instead of asking What should we reasonably expect our education system to achieve in the next ten years?, we should be asking What should today’s children reasonably expect from our education system over the next ten years? Like David, I too think thatour children have every reason to expect a lot more. If you haven’t yet read The Rise of the Creative Class, check out the first few chapters and then think about this issue again after doing so. Or, alternatively, go watch Consuela Molina’s video on digital kids in analog schools. I’m not just picking on K-12 here; it’s just as bad, if not worse, in academia.
Sometimes people are too touchy. Let the little stuff go, I say.
Don’t we have bigger things on which to expend our mental energy?
If my 6-year-old can learn how to Skype me, and if a blog post is literally as easy as sending an e-mail, and if editing a wiki can be as simple as clicking on the Edit button, can someone remind me again what the learning barriers for adult teachers and administrators are to using these kinds of Web 2.0 tools?