#makeschooldifferent: My Five (or close to it)

I’ve started this blog post a few times and I don’t know why I’m struggling. Hopefully you forgive the rambling.

I stumbled upon Scott McLeod’s post: We have to stop pretending via Greg Pearson (@vptechnodork) twitter feed. Of course I asked him what his 5 were and he blogged right away, returning the question. I’ve been stumped. Not for a lack of passion on the topic but rather because one or two keep swirling in my head. The format also feels direct. I usually mask my thoughts in cute stories. This format feels a little revealing. I could say a lot of things that everyone would nod along to but I’m not sure that’s the point of the exercise. This is a bit more challenging, hope you forgive me. Here we go:

We need to stop pretending…

1. That technology is an option. This may seem a little weird but it is an idea I’ve struggled with a lot (wrote about it here). We often say we want to use technology meaningfully, move into the deeper waters of SAMR, maximize the tool. It is about it’s purposeful use. I completely agree! At some point though we have to stop pretending it’s an optional tool, a tool that needs to be justified, measured and advocated every time it’s used. A tool that the ‘techy’ or ‘comfortable’ or ‘cool’ teachers use. When will it become our paper and pencil, textbook, camera? Computers have been in schools since I went to school. How would our conversations change if we just saw it as part of our toolbox? Do we really have an option to say no to the technology when the world has moved on?

2. That we don’t have enough access. #1 seems to lead to # 2. Another point that seems a little silly. More access is always better for planning and implementation. The more we have in the building, the more I will be able to engage my learners. I don’t disagree, but the number of devices shouldn’t be a reason to stop using the tools. We are a resourceful profession, making a few hundred dollars in school supplies last a whole year, finding five new uses for used paper (Primary teachers, you know what I’m talking about). We have access to more technology than ever before. I am sure we can apply our resourcefulness to any devices we can get our hands on. I have seen amazing lessons that have maximized 2 or 3 school devices available and/or a few BYOD tools.

3. That change waits for someone else. This is the idea that keeps gnawing away at me. Primarily because it is one I often fall victim to personally. It’s easy to point out what needs to change in a system, to find the cracks, to point out what or who is holding us back. It’s harder to acknowledge what I am choosing not to change. Am I living my beliefs or building my defense for why it isn’t possible? If I believe we need a new definition for school than I need to start with myself. This does not mean we will not be frustrated, not experience roadblocks, not feel defeated at times but it does empower us to take an active role to #makeschooldifferent

I debated adding the wonderful ideas of others posts I’ve read that I completely agree with but I feel these are the three I would like to add to the conversation. What are your thoughts? What are your top 5 to #makeschooldifferent?

4 Replies to “#makeschooldifferent: My Five (or close to it)”

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