Wednesday, January 23, 2008

If You Freeze it; They Will Come

Did you catch "Growing up Online"... I'm thinking we could do a followup expose in any North American community: Teachers: Growing up OFFLINE".

If you freeze everything in education the way it is now, and promise not to change it for a time, educators may well feel safe enough to explore current communications tools. Maybe this 'hard freeze' is what is needed to embolden teachers to learn new skills.

In the park across the street from my house, the ice-makers have been transforming the tennis courts into a hockey rink. In my one-minute documentary: "If You Freeze it; They Will Come" ("Field of Dreams: Canada" is my alternate title), you'll notice that freezing things really can bring people together.

YOU get it, and you are learning every day, but beyond keeping yourself informed, what can you do to assist those who don't 'get it'? Far too many students enter 'historic classrooms', stepping back in time whenever they pass through school doors. How do you bring more people on board so that students can be exposed to modern day learning tools. If YOU don't help to bring about necessary change, who will?

We know that new tools will continue to evolve, and will draw users who will demand the ability to create, customize, edit, and share with others. What is needed now more than ever is a way to scaffold the professional development of new and existing teachers, so that as a community of learners, we can learn about new communications tools rather than blocking them because young people 'get it' and we don't.

Remember when teens used to speak in coded language (piglatin, valley-speak...) so that adults wouldn't understand... The reality is that the Internet is now their language, and they feel safe saying or doing anything, because they know that adults in general, don't understand the language. We need to find ways of helping our colleagues learn the language.

So much has to change; before schools become totally irrelevant. Hoping to expand the discussion, I've posted an audio commentary on the Teacher 2.0 Podcast.


McLuhan's ghost said...

I caught about 5 minutes of 'Growing up Online' last night. 5 minutes of watching more hype about online predators (I know they exist) and paranoid, control freak parents (like the mother portrayed in the doc) forced me to switch to the Bruins-Canadiens hockey game - talk about freezing time!