Monday, March 12, 2007

Start at the top

Miguel has hit on one place where the trickle-down theory really might work. He proposes starting a 1:1 laptop initiative with teachers and administration long before trying it with students. He says,
The change in district perspective is what important and that that perspective is communicated and adopted by parents, teachers, administrators. That perspective has to be that we're going to learn differently and everyone is a part of that learning process. Teaching differently will come over time as we learn more.
This seems so logical to me. Starting with the students -- before teachers and administration and parents are on board -- doesn't have much of a chance of succeeding. But if we, the adults, change the way we view education and technology, we will be much more likely to create substantive change in our teaching and our students' learning.

This goes back to the concern I and many others have about new tools being misused to just do the same old same old in the classroom. In a teacher's defense, though, it is hard to do otherwise without being really comfortable with technology and using it regularly in your own life. That comfort and regular use would come as a school district institutes a 1:1 plan for teachers and administrators and they, as Miguel says,
then change the way everything is accessed and how the "system" works. Go electronic on everything as much as possible.
Miguel talks about the need for a comprehensive plan to make sure all this happens, and I am sure that would make it easier and more efficient. But sometimes I think plans -- too many plans, at least -- can take the joy out of anything. And I also don't think we need to wait for plans, really. I think we can create change by creating a tipping point in each school. If nothing else, that may encourage institutions to develop a plan faster than they would have otherwise.

Read Miguel's post. It's another good one.

No comments: