I woke up early this morning with a bit of Jekyll and Hyde going on in my head. Part of me is outraged at the reckless abuse of one of the cornerstones (THE CORNERSTONE) of democracy, public education, by witless politicians who are desperate to find traction in an increasingly slippery world. I wish I could draw cartoons. Images sit in my head of a belligerent Mikie Fitzpatrick (Pennsylvania Congressman who introduced DUPA) sitting in the corner with a DOPA-dunce hat on, after being caught trying to brick up the classroom windows.

Then again, the mature and sober side of me is grasping for ways that we might make some lemonade. I think that the challenge has been laid before us. The ball has been served, and eyes are now on our side of the net. We have an opportunity to make our case, to clearly articulate why learners and teachers should be engaged in online communities. What are students learning better? How does it improve reading, writing, and arithmetic? We should not waste time on the higher order experiences that students enjoy, when they learn through conversation. It only irritates the weak minded. Sorry! That was Jekyll!

But we need to make this simple, compelling, and with an element of emotional tension (How, in the world, are children going to learn with bricked up windows?).

I have asked Class Blogmeister users (almost 2,800 teachers & 27,000 students) to try to find some time and write about the learning experiences that their children are having, and to be specific about what their students are learning, that they weren’t learning before. I will blog these stories as they come in, but would also be willing to make them available for other campaigns to tell this new story about teaching and learning in the 21st century.

I’ve just started a new blog, Online Community Works, where I’ll post the stories as the arrive.

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.