A Few Random Things

Click to see my Animoto for the Conference…

First, if you have time, go back to yesterday’s blog, I’m not Teacher Bashing.  What I’m looking for is an image of the teacher, the classroom, learning culture, administration, etc. where the world of new initiatives and models (21st Century Skills, NETS Refreshed), the latest issues of their discipline, and the latest in best practices are a part of the job.  David Tuss said that the 21st century teacher is…

  • Connected,
  • Collaborative, and
  • Creative

What does that look like?  Please post your comments there.

I spoke at my first state school board association conference yesterday, and I must say that I was more than impressed with the conversations that I had, at least with the folks who came up to me wanted to have conversations.  I did an hour and a half workshop during the afternoon, during which I was only able to cover about a third of what I had attended.  The audience was quite interactive, they had lots of questions, expected answers, and sincerely had their students’ best interests in a new future at heart.  I confess that I was a bit underprepared to address what this new information landscape means to being a school board member, other than the obvious — consider using social networks, blogs, podcasting, wikis, etc. as a way to collaborate with each other and communicate with and engage your constituents.

The one area that disappointed me was in the exhibitors hall.  It seemed that just about every other booth was an architectural firm.  Now my observation may not be at all fair, because I didn’t talk to all of them, only three.  They were very busy booths.  But I asked each of the three, how has school design changed in the last ten years, and how do you suspect it will change in the next 10? Perhaps I should have used 20 years or 30.  But their answers disappointed me.

  • Schools are greener.
  • Construction techniques are much more efficient.
  • Wiring in the floors, walls, ceiling.

That was it.  I asked one of the firm’s representative, what it might mean to the design of a classroom when every student has a laptop.  He said that it probably wouldn’t affect the room design in any way.  He did say that perhaps schools should have some smaller classrooms for classes with fewer students such as Japanese Language, AP Physics, or legal terminology.

To be fair, I may have been talking with the wrong people.  I may have completely missed the truely innovative firms who were in other parts of the hall.  There may even be no reason to change the design of schools.  I don’t know.  It’s the reason I was asking.  How do they change?  These folks are the experts.  Is the answer — they don’t change?

Help me, Christian Long!

Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.