Blocking…

Wow! My second post today!
I’m just catching up with reading from my RSS aggregator, and I found another short article by Scott McLeod (for American Association of School Administrators ) that seems to fit into my current mindset regarding 21st century skills, NCLB and enabling creative kids in our schools!

In Blocking the Future, McLeod compellingly urges superintendents and other school policymakers to find a way to enable teachers and students to use 21st century technologies to create authentic learning environments in schools. He writes:

…school district leaders have a critical choice to make: Will their schools pro-actively model and teach the safe and appropriate use of these digital tools or will they reactively block them out and leave students and families to fend for themselves? Unfortunately, many schools are choosing to do the latter. As a technology advocate, I can think of no better way to highlight organizational unimportance than to block out the tools that are transforming the rest of society. Schools whose default stance is to prohibit rather than enable might as well plant a sign in front of their buildings that says, “Irrelevant to children’s futures.” Note: I inserted boldface.

Strong words, but so true and so important. Thanks for eloquently saying what so many of us think, Dr. McLeod!

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New Video and Rethinking…

Great video I just discovered–it’s a response to Karl Fisch’s Did You Know . Did You Know is the most important education-related video of the last 2-3 years, imho. I think every educator, every administrator, every school board member should watch it–more than once. If you haven’t watched it yet, watch it now and then perhaps read (or listen to, like I did) Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat 3.0 . It will change your outlook–I promise.

Anyway, I found this new (to me) video, called Mr. Winkle Wakes, on Scott McLeod & Fisch’s shifthappens wiki, as I was trying to reinvigorate/refocus myself before returning to school tomorrow after spring break. How true it is! How wrong that it is true…

I’m left again with the question how do I foster the needed changes in my school community? Modeling doesn’t seem to cut it because the most resistant teachers (and we have a lot of them) seem to think that I know how to do these things, but they could never learn. I (as librarian) have “so much more time” than they do–they can’t possibly “fit it in.” After school/conference period trainings are ill-attended. Administrator doesn’t want to “bother” the teachers with things like Fisch’s video–“we just ask so much of them anyway–we can’t put another thing on their plates.” Teachers are under so much pressure to focus on state testing to the exclusion of any other authentic learning/evaluation.

I’ve so far failed to ignite change in my school. That’s clear.
What are your ideas about effecting change so that our students really are being prepared for their own future? What are you doing in your schools???

Technology and Administrator PD

A few days ago, Scott McLeod challenged bloggers to blog about technology and leadership today. Here’s his challenge:

Wednesday, July 4, 2007 is American Independence Day and is as good a day as any to celebrate independent (and hopefully innovative) thinking and leadership. I hereby invite all edubloggers to blog about effective school technology leadership next Wednesday.

As I think about leadership and technology in my building/district, I must agree with McLeod’s assertion that to many, many administrators, technology seems to be an add-on. It doesn’t seem to be a part of their training nor is technology an integral tool for many of them.
How might I as the librarian facilitate a change–even a small one–in the culture that has grown up in my building as a result?

McLeod asks what is one tool that might be particularly helpful to administrators in my world. My answer: RSS! It’s what makes so many Web2.0 tools possible–and relevant! His assertion in today’s blog entry that tech training for administrators must be job embedded and authentic makes RSS the perfect basic tool. Information that you choose because it’s pertinent to your life comes to you when it’s created! What more could we ask!


I plan to introduce my teachers/admin to some basic uses of RSS in the next school year–for blogs and podcasts, primarily. If educators are exposed to the power of collegial relationships made possible–almost effortless, in fact–by RSS, and they’re exposed to some of the vast pool of expertise at their fingertips, perhaps a few more converts will be created! 🙂

Did you Know 2.0—2.0

Because I can’t get to videos on youtube at school, I’m embedding Did You Know 2.0 from teachertube here. We can get to that.

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