A Call To Act Now

I’m in a very frustrated state lately… mostly due to my impatience with the direction I feel education should be going vs. where it actually is. I usually feel this way after I attend summer conferences… it’s a natural after-effect of the energizing discussions that take place at those conferences. But I’m even more unsettled right now than I usually am.

In my opinion, if we are supposed to be educating our youth and preparing them for success in life, we have to step it up right now. Not after we get all our teachers and administrators caught up on the latest technologies… not even after we get 10% of them caught up. Not after we have enough money in the budgets to implement a 1:1 laptop initiative. Not after we convince all the parents that their kids are better off knowing how to be responsible digital citizens. NOW. It’s time to pull our heads out of the sand and challenge ourselves to do and be better. [Image from Adam Roberts1]

Is it fair to the students who are in our schools now that there’s such a disconnect between what they learn in the classroom and what they will need to know to be able to enter the job force? Absolutely not.

Jeff Utecht’s latest blog post asks us: Do we need another Sputnik to push us into moving along? I hope not, but it’s a great point. Should it take what many consider a national (international?) crisis to force us to make the necessary changes? Or maybe a better question is… are we already there?

We often hear the term “educational malpractice” applied during discussions pertaining to problematic issues of grades, promotion, and graduation. I’m posing these questions to YOU– is it educational malpractice to exclude digital literacy as part of the curriculum? Is blocking Web 2.0 tools from kids during the school day a necessary measure to protect them? or is it actually educational malpractice? Is ignoring the wealth of information and knowledge available on the web justified because of all the garbage on the web? Or is it educational malpractice?

As I meet with educators in my own district this upcoming school year.. as well as those educators who have invited me to their districts and institutions to present… this is something I plan to discuss at length. I would very much appreciate your comments/discussion here so that I have something with which to open the face-to-face discussions.

So the flood gates are opened… let us hear what you have to say.

1 Roberts, Adam.”Ostrich.” Spartacus007’s Photostream. 5 Jul 2005. 17 July 2008. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/spartacus007/23860934/in/set-547019/>