Monday, May 19, 2008

Keepin' It Real

This may come as a shock to many of you, but your friends in the Tech Fridge are really "no-names" in the national education scene, which is really the way we like it. But that also means that we generally fall in line (save for a bit of anti-cell phone rhetoric) with the "cocktail party goers" of educational blogging. We are in no position to "rock the boat" with national big wigs, although we are becoming more and more willing to be honest about our opinions.
Last week, CoSN and Pearson Education came out with a video called Learning To Change (which has since been taken off of YouTube as of May 19th). The video showed some very big names in education that I HIGHLY respect discussing 21st Century skills, communication globally, etc., those things that we all wish we could do. As I watched it, I was inspired. After it was over, like so many things, I thought of this far off magical place where all of these ideas work smoothly and no resistance ismet. *BAM!* Ah, back to reality.
So many of the great ideas they shared are things that would take a very long time to properly implement in my district. We all know here that we have a long way to go to be a "techie" district and we are moving forward. But there is such resistance because using technology is such a mind set. While "I'm not a digital native" is not an excuse for not using technology, there is mind set that has to come before you use technology effectively in your classroom. It should have happened a long time ago, but for many teachers it hasn't.
I was actually very relieved when I saw this post at the Assorted Stuff blog talking about all of these very issues (a response to Chris Lehman's post). It was very interesting and refreshing to have someone speak up to say how far away many of those ideas are in a "regular" K-12 educational setting. I think many of the ideas shared in the video would be beneficial to learning in education, but they are idealistic, not realistic. Not today. Not in a "regular" classroom. That doesn't mean we are giving up, it means we need to have a focus of where we are going.

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