Saturday, March 6, 2010


earlier today i attended an all day TEDish event. i say ish because it wasn't sponsored by TED, but sanctioned and run in a similar fashion. the purpose of the day was to hear what the role of new media and technology has in shaping the future of education. this topic either inspires you or makes you feel real old! it was an incredible line up of speakers. many teachers, some entrepreneurs, a few journalists. all interesting to hear.

my favorite speaker was the last one...and after an 8 hour day, i was ready for it to end. but he was well worth staying to hear. chris lehmann is the founding principal of the science leadership academy in philadelphia. he was very passionate about teaching and the kids. he had so many wise and thoughtful and inspiring comments. "empower the kids. it is their education and it will be their world." 

the kids are many technological steps ahead of their schools at this point. they have embraced all of this technology and new media...and we're beats behind. too busy being fearful and questioning. we have to make sure they are learning what "they" will need and learning it in the way "they" learn best. using the tools "they" use. schools need to become more electronic - time to bury the text books and paper planners. the electronic versions are just as good, if not better. this is the reality "they" are learning and growing in.

wwcd: if we don't stay current, we run the risk of becoming obsolete

1 comment:

  1. Glad you went and stuck it out. And then I read how totally distracted most typical kids are in their multi-tasking mediated lives. How hard it is to develop the contemplative mind. Finding ease with silence, without constant external stimulation, structuring internal problem solving and integrating reference material (not just putting in a perfunctory footnote)... these require continuous modeling and experience. As adults, facility with new interfaces is important - really getting the new vocabulary too - and including these new patterns of behavior even just for the sake of credibility with the students! But something enormous is lost when even curious and educated kids would rather scan the cliff notes than read and struggle with great literature (or just change the definition of great literature to SHORT WORKS). Just sayin'.

    Electronic planners are the easy part for us to make in our part of the world. Laptops are a huge symbol of access for "third world" communities if they have network provided. Solar panel-powered laptops are globally responsible... etc. These are steps we really need to take quickly. But I think the shifting in capability and thought patterns of our culture's youngest people still needs a whole lot of non-technology-based cultivation of deep attention. Like in parenting... even great technology offers nothing but practical shortcuts.