Missing a Million Memos

haulin netI share this concern of Dr. Tracey Weeks of Chapel Hill /Carrboro City schools:

What I see happening in education right now is a clash between NCLB, which is very standards driven/assessment heavy, and this notion of School 2.o. As long as teachers are held accountable and driven by high stakes testing, I fear that they will not let go of the predictability of monologue and embrace the chaos of conversation.

Given the current focus of NCLB, you really can’t blame schools or teachers for their crisp attention to the basics. But, then I read about the NY Times publisher:

“I really don’t know whether we’ll be printing the Times in five years, and you know what? I don’t care either,” he says.

Sulzberger is focusing on how to best manage the transition from print to Internet.

. . . and I remain convinced we have to prepare students for that Web 2.0 reality.

Recently, we used Web 2.0 to help correct the local newspaper editorial misgivings I wrote about in my previous entry. The result was a new editorial entitled Mea Culpa.

The bottom line is that if we think we need to get back to the basics, then we have missed a million memos. We should have never left the basics!

We should, however, have been layering on to the basics the new literacies (digital) and the proven pedagogies (full inquiry) that will empower students to navigate effectively the information glut that will continue to multiply into the future. These literacies should be built upon individual, web-based knowledge networks for all lifetime learners.

How we can use popular Web 2.o software applications like Mozilla Firefox and Google Home Page that facilitate RSS aggregation, personalization, community, and tinkering would be great fodder for school-based Professional Learning Communities.

In a true finesse move, we can have a single conversation about how Google and Firefox support the basics and 21st century skills.

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One Response to Missing a Million Memos

  1. Lisa says:

    “We should have never left the basics!” Absolutely! Web 2.0 tools do the basics and more. They give the basics a new hair style, a face lift, and a new set of clothes in a 21st century-style extreme makeover.

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