October 17, 2007 § Leave a comment
This is very interesting. Bob makes some very valid points that I think most of us who are “forward thinkers” have observed.
Frustrations with getting teachers to see the light abound. Getting administrators to see the light can be even more frustrating. I just had this conversation with my boss the other day:
We were discussing blogs and wikis and whether to re-open wikispaces for students (side note: thankfully my district has a different blocking policy for students and teachers – imagine that, trusting a teacher more than a kindergarten student!) and we were discussing how to bring up this subject to the curriculum director. I noted that none of the administrators at the top level, or even the secondary level (high school or junior high) were in our age group (mid 30’s). They were all the older folks who didn’t grow up with this technology, who don’t embrace it at home, so how in the world can they expect to understand how it can impact students and teachers?
I propose this: Let’s start a school. There are enough of us out here in the Ed Tech community to start a grass roots effort and start a school where we can all be happy. We’ll start with the administration. Find an administrator that doesn’t care about the test scores as much as they care about inspiring kids to learn, and teaching kids using 21st century tools. Give them a year to interview teachers, put the call out for teachers who are innovators, teachers who want to use the computers in their classrooms for more than drill and kill. Let’s make it a brand new school, so the administrator doesn’t have to deal with teachers who don’t want to be there, who are waiting to retire and who don’t want to learn new things. We’ll hire from a pool of teachers who want to make a change, and they’ll be allowed to count their personal learning toward their professional development hours. We’ll have a tech department that understands what students and teachers need, and not be a bunch of blocking nazis. Every student will have an email address and be allowed to use it to communicate with the outside world.
Now, what part of Utopia would you like to put this school in?
Add your thoughts for the perfect school in the comments…