For the last ten days, I've been participating in a Living Facebook Experiment, where I do everything in-person that I do on Facebook. While I initially saw it as a chance to rethink the role of technology in my life, I'm now recognizing how it's changing my perceptions on education reform.
Teacher Take-Home: What I'm wondering now is how to balance what students want versus what they need and how to expose them to the painful, the boring and the disruptive side of learning while still meeting their individual interests. I used to think Pandora would be the ultimate model for a school. Now I'm seeing that I would rather have a school that looks like a rock festival where students can roam the live music with constant exposure to new ideas.
Teacher Take-Home: I'll be working with ten 21st Century Classrooms next year in a hybrid, one-to-one learning environment. I've been thinking about collaboration and communication using social media. I've been dreaming up project-based learning opportunities. And yet, this is forcing me to rethink some of my initial ideas. I'm recognizing the danger in social media to colonize and socialize. I'm recognizing the need to not only criticize the media but also the transcultural experience created by a media platform.
Teacher Take-Home: What does it mean to use Twitter or Facebook for in-depth, critical thinking projects when adults often model a shallow, take-this-quiz-on-which-Phil-Collins-song-you-are-the-most-like? What does it mean to encourage students to ask hard questions about their universe when they have so often used these social media platforms for entertainment?
Teacher Take-Home: How do we pursue a humble reform when proposing bold steps toward changing education? How do we communicate in blogs, conferences, podcasts and books in a way that recognizes the human element rather than the data-bound pie charts? Have we, in the educational technology community, simply bought into a new data-bound narrative that is not much better than the current metrics used to rate students on standardized tests?