Going in Circles

Source: http://goo.gl/ZHiBj

Sitting in a dark movie theatre, watching a slideshow of still images--back before we had to watch 20 minutes of advertisements carefully disguised to seem educational--a quote popped up on the screen I had never seen before. That quote came to mind as I read Tim Holt's blog entry, Let the Gurus Lead the Way:
Show me how to meet the needs of the standardized tests while at the same time meeting the goals of problem-based learning all the while incorporating 21st century skills. You have told me time and again it should and can be done. Don’t just tell me about some school in upper Tazmikerstan that was successful. Show me that it can happen in my city, in my district with my kids and my teachers.
Show me how to do professional development in integrating education technology so that I also address the needs of the special needs kids, the gifted kids, the English language learners, and the kids whose parents just got shipped off to fight a war. You have told me time and again it should and can be done. Okay, put up or shut up.

One of the fun aspects of being a blogger is that I don't have to be an expert about what I'm writing about BEFORE I begin writing. Instead, I become an expert while I write something, no matter how incoherent or nonsensical. While others have written more cogent pieces on BYOD, my blog entry on the subject, a patchwork quilt of quotes, videos, and half-baked opinions has already netted 35% of all visitors to Around the Corner.

For me, blogging is about playing with ideas, waving the paint brush in the direction of the canvas, and seeing what sticks. It's the rest of the world that classifies it as art, but for me, it's just plain fun. As I was driving home this afternoon after a riveting--yes, I mean that--session backing up a Moodle 1.9 instance on a Mac server so I can restore it on a Red Hat Linux server running Moodle 2.x, it occurred to me what a fraud I am as a public speaker.

If I only spoke or wrote about what I was qualified to speak or write about, I'd soon find myself speaking in mono-syllabic words, describing a grey rock, barren of life except for a sprig of life, embracing a cavernous space unbound by unyielding stone. 

As a speaker, and a blogger, though, the invitation that captures my attention goes beyond a snake oil salesman's desire to make money. Rather, it is an opportunity to create an experience, to share the joy of creation. As a writer, being author of a blog makes that possible in ways that authoring books, penning articles, working the mundane messiness that is learning in K-12 schools. Tim's wisdom is a call to those who make money from counseling changes so impossible in today's culture, economy, that to achieve them would be like a preacher in a Big Tent healing the crippled, slaying the twin demons of despair and depression.

When you stop and think about it, Tim's right. But, another truth needs to be considered. Experiences we enjoy empower us to make the changes we want to see around us. The experiences others craft for us--like those of "21st Century" leaders, online learning communities, etc.--provide a brief respite from the dry reality of changes bound by poverty among our children, in our teachers, leaders building their nest, turning eyes aside from what's happening under their eyes. 

As I sat in the darkness of the theatre, the quote flashed up for a moment, stuck like a photo-flash in my mind's eye....
Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
Will Rogers 
We've gotta keep movin, even if we're goin' in circles...let's enjoy the scenery of familiar and unfamiliar faces.

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


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