Monday, October 10, 2011

Things That Have Me Thinking This Week...October 10, 2011

There are so many thought-provoking articles and blog posts that I come across each week, I thought I would share a few favorites.


Number 1

#occupytheclassroom - Karl Fisch

With the Occupy Wall Street gaining national attention as groups of Americans protest throughout the country to voice displeasure for what they perceive as needless greed and corruption by those who control our nation's wealth, there is a smaller group starting a grass roots movement to change our educational practices.  What if the teachers in the classrooms across our country were able to focus on what they think is important in preparing our students for success and the misguided "test-prep" focus could be left behind.  Karl Fisch asks his fellow educators to take responsibility and not waste energy blaming those outside the classrooms for what is happening in side the classrooms.
"...instead of blaming “the system,” we should realize that we are the system, and we should advocate for our students when we see things that we don’t believe are in their best interests."

Number 2

No Quick Fix - Will Richardson

In a concise blog post, Will Richardson also touches upon the need for educators to think deeply about the role they can play in transforming out educational system.  It is so easy to talk about change and point fingers at misguided attempts to improve our educational systen, but what are we as individuals really pushing ourselves to act differently and think well beyond the traditional system of which we are a product? Or as Richardson puts it:
"Meaningful change ain’t gonna happen for our kids if we’re not willing to invest in it for ourselves first. At the heart, it’s not about schools…it’s about us."
Number 3

BYOD - Worst Idea of the 21st Century - Gary Stager

This post by Gary Stager discusses the premise of having each family supply their student with a "device" of their choice to bring to school.  The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model is a growing movement in schools who are trying to go to a 1:1 model (one computer for each student).   We have discussed the idea of going to a BYOD in the future at BHS in order to allow users choice, but we may want to reflect upon some of Stager's key points before moving too quickly away from "school-provided" devices.  Here is one of Stager's arguments for avoiding BYOD:
"Education must not be viewed as some competitive, commercial, “every man for himself” enterprise that relies on children to find loose change behind the sofa cushions. Democracy and a high quality educational system requires adequate funding."

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