Tuesday, September 05, 2006

School Crash...made me think

This accident slowed traffic to a crawl while on my 60min commute to my teaching gig at the Art Institute.

I pulled out the ol' Treo650 and snapped this shot. Okay, so its not great, but it got me thinking for the remainder of my drive. Is that us, the web2.0 crowd, driving that car into the web2.0 car into the back of the traditional school system bus? Are we blazing ahead with wikis, blogs, RSS, etc, to only smash into the system? Sure the teachers are starting to get it, slowly, and hurrah for them. But if the system doesn't fundamentaly change the way its structured are we doomed to continue down the path of "internet as just another tool to smash into the hours of classroom work".

I mean seriously! Programs like Teach to the Future are still teaching teachers how to use powerpoint in the classroom. There is no reason why companies like Intel shouldn't be leading the charge in educating our teachers around the world utilizing not only the latest hardware, but internet tools as well. Just ask Will Richardson what it's all about and he'll point you to a multitude of GREAT examples: Teachers going at it on their own with little or no money. And students collaborating, and learning with other students and teachers via blogs, wikis, RSS and social networks. I could go on a rant but I'd rather not.

I'd like to take a moment to applaud his work because I know what's happening out there, and its the work of folks like Will making a difference at the levels where it counts. For every teacher that "gets it" and applies it because of Will there will be more who learn and stay connected to that teacher, and so on, and so on. The network will grow. The value that Will adds grows exponentially because of the power of the tools. He starts the process and it will grow from there. He might not have a million dollar budget to spread the word but he will certainly have an untold impact on teachers around the world far greater than what has been accomplished with a few million tied up in bureaucracy. Nice work, Will. Keep it up.
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