What If We Got What We Want?

I may not be the first to bring this up. But …

At the NECC EduBloggerCon one of the most lively discussions took place in a session where we discussed the “talking points” of Web 2.0. How do we advance our agenda about getting these tools and edtech and project based learning utilized to a much greater extent in education?

One of the points that came up was the lack of many working, successful examples of what we visualize as our model of what education and schools should or could look like. This made me wonder … I’m sure we don’t all agree on precisely what that model is, but what if you got it?

Tomorrow you get a call and your school district or whomever has decided to follow an educational plan that is basically your vision. 1:1 laptops, web 2.0 apps unblocked, time and $ for training, training, training, discussion, discussion, discussion, planning, planning, planning, whatever other hardware you feel is necessary, plenty of IT support, plenty of bandwidth, software – whether it is purchased or open-source, whatever else you envision as necessary. And this is going to cost a bundle AND everyone is watching. You have 5 to 10 years to show this makes a difference.

Now just having the tech is not all it would take obviously. How can or will students be evaluated would change the dynamic, connectivity at home (although that could be covered in the “whatever else you envision as necessary” point above – student connections at home – communitywide wireless?). What else needs to be considered?

How confident are you feeling now? You are one of the instigators here no matter what your role is (teacher, district/state edtech administrator, IT admin, ?). People are going to remember you (and others) pushed for this. They’re putting their money and resources behind you (and others). You have railed for these changes for a long time … and now you have them. Still confident this will lead to better student learning? Can you prove students are learning better or more? How? Test scores? Portfolios?

So if this really happened … are you freaking out about now … or thrilled to death?

Getting everything you want can be messy.

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4 thoughts on “What If We Got What We Want?

  1. Brian, it does not matter if all this new tech stuff needs to increased student learning. Computers, web 2.0 tools, high bandwidth, etc. – it is here in our society, now. It needs to be in our classrooms, now. To ask educators to prove it increases student learning is like asking the proponents of the chalkboard, or the pencil, or the overhead projector – to prove those things led to increased student learning. I encourage teachers to avoid discussions justifying their use. I know that sounds harsh, but we’ve got to quit playing by the rules meant to maintain the status quo.

  2. Aargh, oops, and sorry – that first sentence in my comment was supposed to read, “… if all this new tech stuff LEADS to increased student learning”. Maybe if I’d have composed it in Word first, I would have caught it (grin), but I don’t think so… – Mark

  3. This is a great challenge question. We hear much about the tools but really stepping up to the vision is the next step. The first and most important factor in student achievement is the teacher. The teacher who has a clear set of learning goals and uses research based instructional strategies that incorporate the appropriate tools for the task will make a difference in student achievement.