One of the talking points about 21st Century literacy is: The powers of technology exist alongside challenges and vulnerabilities.

I read this and I wondered why it is has a passive construction, as if the challenges and vulnerabilities were some sort of act of nature. Here's how I would re-write this (I know it's now as tidy.):

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In June 2007, I presented at a two-day conference sponsored by the Tech Initiative of the National Writing Project. We were looking at the "teaching and learning of literacy in the 21st Century." Our friends at Inverness Research, Inc. are in the process of releasing several talking points related to our presentations and conversations. In general I'm concerned that their conclusions get the role of writing and technology reversed. Technology isn't a tool that allows you to write. Writing is one of the tools that we helps us to be higher-level users of the literacies that technology fosters. I will be writing more about the Inverness talking points in other posts here.

In my dream school, curriculum would be planned collaboratively by the 6 staff members on each team, with four focus areas:

  • creative, compelling communication
  • academic inquiry and research
  • service learning and civic engagement
The a more developed set of outcomes would be specified on all six levels, with language for these standards developed by the teachers on each of the teams. Traditional or conventional subject areas, such as math, English, science, and social studies would be taught in interdisciplinary, when-needed focused ways. The curriculum would be project-based.

I would love to be a teacher in a small, public school that serves the families in an urban neighborhood. The school would be exempt from standardized tests, and would use digital portfolios to promote and graduate students. The school would have about 432 K-12 students and about 40 staff members, which is small enough for these adults to meet and plan together as a whole group. There would be 6 teams with 4 full-time teachers, one team-leader, and one counselor. The remaining 4 staff members would share school-wide leadership responsibilities. The teams would be responsible for a range of four traditional grades: K-3, 2-4, 3-6, 5-8, 7-10, 9-12. Each team would be responsible for 72 from the 4 grads they are responsible for. Promotion from one team to another would be based on demonstration of specified outcomes at each of the six levels.