In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, in practice there is. -Chuck Reid as cited here
What a profound quote. In theory, we can do anything. In practice, our work can be constrained by resources, time available, unrealistic perceptions, and a host of other variables. In recent conversations, the "theory" is that we are hearing cries that schools abandon successful solutions to embrace ones that are forced on them by others.
At a time when we have ubiquitous access to technology, isn't platform independence desirable? It's a quest Mark Hall consider in his blog entry entitled, Platform Agnostic? The most important part of his entry comes at the bottom, when he admits his biases:
I am a "Google" guy, a GCT. I prefer the Google tools, they work well for me in my environment. But my students are not always going to be in my environment. And I am learning that Google tools are not always going to work in MY environment. I need to make sure me students know how to use a range of tools, and if that makes me less of a Google guy, then so be it.
Mark shares that working in education keeps him bouncing from one application or solution to another, hustling to find the solutions that will best meet the needs of his/her students. Rather than suffer "vendor lock-in," Mark reaches for the solution most appropriate for his students, a view summarized by Ira Socol:
"I'm not "Platform Agnostic" because I'm a crazed techie, I'm "Platform Agnostic" because I work in education, and education is about helping students prepare for any possible future, not my particular vision of a future." (Source: Ira Socol as cited by Mark Hall)
|Image Source: http://www.jeffbots.com/logansrun1.jpg|
Any possible future. Consider that image (not the robot) above (source - Principal's Page LIFE)...what would it look like for eLearning? Hmm...
PreSchool - Connect online and click on links to drill-n-kill games.
School - Connect to the state's curriculum delivery system and use only the web tools they let you use.
High School - Passively consume information disseminated via the state's course management system.
College/University - Discuss how you can use the state's course management system with others in your class.
Real World Job - Find out about open source tools and set up your own Moodle/Sakai course management system, blogs, wikis, and help others understand which will work best for them.
|Emerging from the closed environment in Logan's Run|
Want to be platform agnostic or independent? Start looking at free, open source solutions now, no matter what age. There's a world waiting out there for you....