My last session at the e-Learning Summit yesterday was Telling the New Story. I made it more of a workshop, with lots of discussion, and I’m discovering that this is not easy. Our stories are long and deep and philosophical, and these kinds of stories, though they are great implementation stories, will not get us very far with the broader community.
The stories must be short and to the point and they must connect with the market place, resonate with our deeply held values, and be something that we can model. Here’s a case in point:
Did you know that there are thousands of sexual predators out there combing through MySpace and looking for your daughter?
Now, one could get a lot of traction out of that story and perhaps even get a law, that sounds as stupid as “DOPA”, passed.
I’m afraid that countering that story with pedagogy isn’t going to get us very far. We can come up with some great reformer stories and implementation stories (see “Types of New Stories“), but they will not connect with the community (voters).
So we need a different story, and here are a few off the top of my head, or that woke me up at 2:00 in the morning…
- Market place stories:
Did you know that the future that our schools are prepare our children for, is the future that our children will invent. They’ve invented the MySpace community, IM-speak, and countless other online experiences. This is their future. We can’t ban it. It will just irritate the natives.
- Deeply held values
Do you know how stupid DOPA makes us look? Do the kids really think that banning online communities in the classroom is going to protect them from predators?
DOPA separates our children from their best opportunity to learn the safe use of the Internet — their classrooms. Don’t toss them out in the streets to learn it themselves. This is not a place for our children to learn street smarts.
- Something we can model
I really like Barry Dahl’s comment on yesterday’s post. He says, “I have learned more in the last six months (in the blogosphere) than in the previous six years!” I think this is a story that we need to tell a lot, that we learn in the online communities, and that it is a life-long-learning style of learning, and that education and life-long-learning are one in the same.