Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What's it all coming to? Craziness....

I read a blog post by Jim Gates today about a conference he attended. He talked to a bunch of teachers and educational coaches and they were talking about blogging, using GoogleDocs and Wikis. They loved the ideas presented, but many said that they were blocked in their schools.
I am sure from all of my previous posts you remember my stance on this. HOW CAN THIS BE??? This is terrible. Why are we stuck in the past? How can kids learn from this? UGH!!!

Here a quote from his post:

"One coach even told me that she was asked by one of her board members who was concerned about their budget, "Why do you need the WHOLE Internet anyway?" Seriously! You can't make this stuff up! How do you respond to that? How confident can you possibly be in the sense that your school board is making intelligent decisions for the education of all the children in the district? How empowered does that make you feel?"

I think someone saying that is completely ludicrous! How can someone who is supposed to be involved in the decision making in schools, be so far off base from what our reality is today? If they are removed from a classroom for more than 5 years, then they are not very relevant. If they are not visiting schools often enough, or are not wanting to move forward, then why are we allowing these people to make the decisions? The problem lies in the old-school way of thinking. Allowing individuals who are uncomfortable themselves with technology to be in charge is a mistake. A forward thinking, technology-friendly individual is what is needed. We need to be using these tools in the classroom. They only enhance learning and engagement - no big deal huh? That is kind of the key to being a good educator - to use innovative ways to teach students the curriculum so they understand it and are engaged in their learning process.
In order to teach children to be digital citizens (because that is the age we live in), we need to allow them opportunities to develop the proper skills to be on the WHOLE web, and use the tools properly, not just block them and have them run-amok at home and possibly get themselves into trouble. If we aren’t teaching them how to navigate safely and appropriately then who will? Education is all-encompassing profession in today's world and everyone in the system needs to be on board with that – especially about technology. I’ve already sent out the email and posted it on my blog…haven’t they gotten the message yet?
"Why do you need the WHOLE Internet anyway?" For real? Phft. Silly talk.