Is It Worth It?

OK!  This is not good.  It seems that the only time that I’m finding myself able to reflect on things, independent of making sure that yesterday worked and that today will accomplish what I want, is after only a few hours of sleep — between the hours of 1:00 and 2:00 AM.  Sad!

Opening to EPIC 2015This morning, I woke up struggling with the outcome of an activity that Kevin Jarrett and I worked through with the mostly ed administrators in our workshop yesterday, The Future of Technology & Learning.  It was, a process that we put folks through as a lead-in to an afternoon conversation about 21st Century Skills.  I’ve done it before, and I may have blogged about it.

We asked the audience to watch the video, EPIC 2015, a documentary about the history of information between 1989 and 2015.  We asked them to watch it with their current 5th graders in mind, as they will be graduating in 2015.  The documentary, of course, becomes speculative after 2005, which was when this version of the video was made.

Then we spend just a few minutes airing out what concerned us about a GoogleZon world (you’d have to see the video) and then sent them to my Twitter-style chat program where we gave them one question to answer, “What do you hope your current 5th graders will know, when they graduate in 2015?”

  1. What do you hope they know?
  2. What do you hope they can do with what they know?
  3. What do you hope they care about?

The aim was content, but I gave no more instruction than that question.

After about five minutes we asked them to answer, in the chat, “What do you hope your 2015 graduates can do with what they know?”

Here the aim was information skills.  But again, we only asked the question — no more explanation than that.

Finally, we asked, “What do you hope your 2015 graduates care about?”

I purposely wanted to give them the questions one at a time, so that they would consider the answers independent of the next question.  After they answered the questions in the Twitter-style chat, I transfered their answers to a Wiki.  We then asked each table of participants to scan through the answers and pull out, and/or rewrite, three answers to share with the entire group, each table concentrating on only one of the questions.

What seemed odd was that no one seemed able to answer to question one (content) without including some information skill.  And then, no one seemed able to answer question number two (skills) without including some form of value system.  And by the time we got to question three (What do you hope they care about?), it had all been said.

I told them then that there was a blog in this.  I didn’t know what, but I felt that there was some unified field theory to what we were seeing.  It christalized this morning — perhaps as much as anything can christalize at 1:10 AM.

What we learn,
and what we learn to do with it,
must be worth caring about!

2? Worth!

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.