Moving Forward

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This morning, one of my team asked me, "Miguel, write something about Moving Forward."
"Write anything about moving forward?" I countered.
"Yes, and I reserve the right to edit it," she smiled, "just like you do us."

Ouch! An insightful remark. But what to write? Share where I think we should be headed with technology in schools today? That's too easy. For example, one could make a list of the restrictions that keep us down on earth, like casting off the ropes that keep a hot air balloon grounded. One could write a list like this:

5 Technologies Blocked in K-12 Schools Today:
While global learning opportunities abound, few educators can take advantage of them because the very technologies they seek to use are blocked in their learning environment. A list of the blocked technologies:

  1. Skype in the Classroom - How can you facilitate just in time learning when you have to schedule it a month in advance to ensure adequate bandwidth? 
  2. 1 to 1 - How can you facilitate successful learning with technology when a computer is something your kids see on television or that someone else has?
  3. Collaborative Information Management/Production Tools - How can students learn to be collaborative if the very tools they could use to learn with are unauthorized?
  4. Social Media - How can you model appropriate technology use when you're not allowed to use it with students during the work day or after-hours? And, why can't educators be trusted?
  5. Social Bookmarking - How can you collaboratively mark-up a document, share it with others if the technology is seen as a way to facilitate chatting between students and therefore objectionable?

Top 5 Attitudes that Need to Be Adopted
Often, it's not our knowledge of the possible that makes the new improbable, but our fear of the impossible that makes ignorance inescapable.

  1. Embrace problem-based learning (a.k.a. inquiry learning).
  2. Embrace collaborative activities that extend learning beyond the classroom walls through the use of technology.
  3. Allow passion to fill the activities that engage you.
  4. Be content with "good enough" when trying new technologies and learning opportunities, even as you allow the students to be the perfectionists.
  5. Be open to the technologies you allow to be used, and take advantage of open technologies to slip loose the bonds of budget and strict oversight that comes with it.

While it's easy to point a finger--or several--at what we perceive keep us down, we have to be careful that we don't carry our prejudices up into the sky with us:
Of course, getting aloft isn't the same as moving forward, is it?

BTW, thanks to Scott for kicking this off with a blog entry.

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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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