Yesterday, I wrote about and pointed to the eSchool New pages with articles about the new literacies. With a new government, and the atmosphere of change that such events can inspire, I suspect that we will be hearing more about new visions of teaching a learning. We may even get some relief from the debilitating demands of NCLB, at it may be altered to reflect a more contemporary reality, rather than just preparing children for the 1950s.
That said, there will continue to be resistance from some educators and education leaders who are simply comfortable with teaching and classroom styles that have been successfully used for decades. Several times, during my online and event presentations that I have delivered over the past couple of weeks, I have been asked questions just like this one, commented yesterday on the Digital Communication Skills blog yesterday, by Bill Ferriter.
My greatest struggles, however, are in trying to justify my work to colleagues who are still very traditional in their thinking and committed to delivering the content in our curriculum and preparing students for standardized tests. While I know that I can meet those goals using the technology of the Read/Write Web, there are doubts among peers who are unaware of or uncomfortable with technology.
Several days ago, I was delivering an online presentation for the Discovery Educator Network, and at the end someone asked, “How do we convince other educators that these changes need to take place?”
I was tired. It had been a long day of travel, and I’d just been talking into the computer for nearly an hour. I was exhausted, and I flippantly said, “Scare Em!”
So what do you think? Is this a legitimate avenue for affecting change? Does fear motivate people to change? Might it motivate reluctant teachers to modernize their practices?
Is there reason to be afraid?
What do you think?
Allow me to ellaborate: When I suggest using fear, what I am talking about is a fear that we are not doing our jobs. Are we adequately preparing our children for a rapidly changing world, or just teaching them how to be taught to — not so much how to continue to adapt?
I think that another angle is, should we be afraid that we are so missing the boat in terms of our students and their on sense of need, that they may just switch us off, and just stop paying attention, stop taking tests, stop doing our worksheets — stop playing school. I must admit some fear myself, about the future of my country. Can we possibly continue our economic security in the much more global 21st century, when we’re still preparing our children for the 1950s?
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