Thursday, January 08, 2009

The time is now—

Over 10 years ago, more than a decade, a long time-- the large urban district in which I taught purchased the first filter for the emerging network. A vision of engaged learning through rich primary sources, real time data, and communication was deferred.

As a resource teacher in the instructional technology office I frequently, and usually unsuccessful advocated for teachers the opportunities to access valuable content for engaged learning. My relationship with the IT folks, which had begun quite amicably, deteriorated quickly as my frustration rose. I often worried that my head would forever reveal the dents from hitting it against what I termed a “brick wall.”

Today, now, some 10 years later-- a lively conversation on the NING of the Illinois/Ohio cohort of PLP reveals that nothing--nothing has changed, filters continue to hinder/prohibit opportunities for learning for students and educators.

But –

The technology has changed and increasingly affords opportunities for networked learning that can help our children learn to learn in the world they will inhabit. In our current “climate of abundance, rapid change, diverse information sources and perspectives”, there is a critical need for students and educators to be able to make sense of the chaos –through personal “filters” developed on foundations of digital citizenship and integrity:
"You cannot empower learners and encourage them to seize hold of their own learning experiences while at the same time controlling what they learn, how they interact, who they listen to, the networks they form, the way they are exposed to the information, and the time frame in which they are expected to learn it." --Tech Ticker
"As we increasingly move toward an environment of instant and infinite information, it becomes less important for students to know, memorize, or recall information, and more important for them to be able to find, sort, analyze, share, discuss, critique, and create information. They need to move from being simply knowledgeable to being knowledge-able." --M. Wesch

Filtering-- we’ve been complaining, whining for years—

Enough. The time is now to move to collective action. To do something.

The immediate catalyst for this —Sheryl’s contribution to the PLP conversation:
“What if you .. asked to meet with the IT folks and had an honest open dialog? You all do your research and have proactive solutions for each complaint (don't just make it a whining session). Build a relationship with the IT folks and see if collectively all of you can start to move policy in a direction that supports 21st Century teaching and learning.”
A meaningful project for students, an opportunity for problem based learning—but I’m without at this point in my career. Yet, I’m feeling compelled, remembering my students, to not let this go.

What if—

Through the opportunities afforded by current technologies WE created a resource
  • On which educators could discover proactive solutions for each argument
  • On which educators could find samples of exemplary student learning resulting from the use of participatory technologies
  • On which educators could locate student produced videos that brought their perspective on networked learning
  • On which educators could find examples and contacts of those who successfully dealt with this issue

Brainstorming here, at this moment--

What else?

Will you join me? For our children and their futures?

Could we start here?
The time is now----

“None of us is as good as all of us.” Ray Kroc

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