It’s New Year’s Eve and we’re out exploring eastern North Carolina. I hope to be able to share some magnificent pictures tomorrow. Or not! We’ll see.
|I selected this creative commons licensed photo because it is a miraculous photograph. But also because there was this look of expectation on the child’s face, that nourishing water will soon be flowing from that spigot.|
I guess that it is somehow appropriate to share some reflections on the previous year today — and wishes for the next year tomorrow. That part I’ve been working on already. But this morning, it’s simple. This has certainly been an important year for information. The new web has continued to evolve and to give us lots of new ways to access, think about, rework, and communicate information. What’s more, more people are talking about it. It could be that the sensationalism, through which blogging was presented by the media, got these tools out there with such bluster, that the backlash toward realizing them as a tool for teaching and learning may be more effective than would have otherwise been possible. I don’t know. I tend toward the positive spin, often naively.
At any rate, I see a momentum building with regard to teachers and schools wanting to experiment with these new information applications. But I see another momentum building that I think is even more important. There seems to be a new spirit of re-visioning going on. For the first time in years, people are beginning to think about teaching and learning as something that might be done differently and better, rather than something that is simply done with more force.
I’ve seen this in my own state with its work toward Future-Ready Students and the broader and increasing interest in the work of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. I think that my own message about contemporary literacy has fallen on more fertile ears lately because of this sense of re-visioning.
As much as people have gotten tired of the mantra, I suspect that The World is Flat has had a lot to do with these changes. Many new ideas have found avenue for expression, but largely because Tom Friedman has given us a new way of thinking about a world that is rapidly changing.
I suspect that the next few months and years will be an interesting and invigorating time to be in education.
Happy New Year!
Smith, Gregory. “The Fountain of Youth….” Carf’s Photostream. 4 Nov 2006. 31 Dec 2006 <http://flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/288487084/>.