Sunday, August 19, 2012

1:1 with Chomebooks at Leyden: Week 1

I've been trying to get myself in as many classrooms as possible this week, talking to teachers and observing them in action with students. It's been nothing short of amazing. Every teacher I have seen is running with the new tools their students have access to. Some are running at  at different paces than others, but that's OK. Every teacher I have spoken to is excited about working with the new tools and learning new ways to engage students. Students....well, you know. They've been off and running for a while.

What we have always said is that no matter how many tech tools, tips, or tricks we throw out there, if all teachers can't count on the technology every day and if all students can't benefit, the use of technology can never be transformative. To quote Chris Lehmann again, principal of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, technology has to be like oxygen: ubiquitous, necessary, and invisible.

On a semi-related note, I was at Costco over the weekend and was surprised to see Sir Ken Robinson on the cover of The Costco Connection, the free publication dubbed "the lifestyle magazine for Costco members." In between ads for Kirkland brand glucosamine supplements and gallon-size jugs of Dove body lotion, Sir Ken gives a typically fantastic interview. I just wish every Costco customer would take the time to read the article. You can read it here, even if you're not a member.

So what does this have to do with us?  Here's an excerpt from the article that made me think to myself: "Self, we're doing it right." If you've never heard Ken Robinson speak, you should read the following quote as it were delivered by Michael Caine. I believe they're from the same area in England.

Ken Robinson on the cover of "The Costco Connection".
"New digital technologies make it perfectly possible to personalize the curriculum and the schedule, and the tools and applications that are now available make it easier than ever to change the nature of teaching and learning. I don't mean that technology is the answer to everything....But it is a game changer for why we're educating our children and for how we're doing it."

The big change, I believe, has to be from seeing education as a mechanical or industrial process to seeing it much more as a human and organic one. Gardeners know that they can't make plants grow. Plants grow themselves. Gardners provide the right conditions for that to happen. Good gardeners understand those conditions. Running a school or teaching a class or raising a family is much more like gardening than [like] engineering. 

It's about providing the best conditions for growth and development. And if we get that right we'll see an abundant harvest of talent, commitment, imagination and creativity in all of our children and in all of our schools."

I believe what we have now is what we've always hoped for: the conditions for technology to be a transformative force in our school. Tools and techniques are now being discussed at a viral rate - by teachers and students. As I mentioned at the opening of school faculty meeting, the conditions are right. We still have lots of learning to do and plenty of challenges ahead, but we are off to a fantastic start.

No comments:

Post a Comment