Most days, I’m really upbeat. I go into schools, I give workshops, I help kids and teachers, and at the end of the day I feel that I’ve been successful in helping someone shift their practice and perhaps try some new things that will ultimately give students a wider variety of learning experiences.
Most of the time, it’s not actually about tools, but it’s about celebrating good practice. So when I was at a school today and seeing all kinds of purposeful play in kindergarten and primary grades, would I have suggested putting students behind a screen? No way! Would I have wanted teachers to capture these learning moments digitally to be archived, shared with parents or developed into stories that students could revisit? You bet!
And then I saw this. I’m trying to help a teacher get a Smartboard going. He believes it may not be working, but actually he just needs a really long VGA cord because the outlet is in a very awkward spot along the side of the room, crowded with some other attachments. I look up, and see that a LCD projector has been mounted in the ceiling about 2 feet out from (and in the way of) a big television screen that is also wall mounted. My mouth literally dropped open. Who on earth would have thought that was a good idea?
Honestly, it’s even hard for upbeat me to see electricians deciding how teachers will teach, non-users of technology buying technology, deciding (with apparent lack of logic) where it will go and therefore impacting teachers and students forever after (or so it seems).
Once again I quote my friend Peter Skillen, who says, “It’s like the illiterate, telling the literate what to read.” Seriously folks, just how long is it going to take for us to get this right?