Sunday, December 20, 2015

Culture

I just read a fabulous (and short) post from George Couros - The Culture You Create.   I typically read posts, but rarely reply - this one I had no choice but to respond, and it read:

Thank you for this post. I have seen signs throughout my district and they are similar to the image you posted. I agree with your statements regarding trust and perception. I think the bigger question is how do we educate the “ignorant?” How does the culture shift if many are not taking the time to realize the power of mobile / personal devices have and how the devices can level the playing field? I have found that it is often the leadership that is resistant to the change more than the teaching staff. The fixed mindsets kill me! I once saw a quote that read, “The biggest risk is the one you don’t take.” We learn by doing – by succeeding AND by FAILING. There is no perfect lesson. But technology is a game changer and helps level the playing field – used correctly, it transforms teaching and learning in ways once inconceivable.

Why are educators (generally) so afraid to take risks?  I do understand that the thresholds of NCLB are challenging to reach, but if what is taking place at schools is so effective, why are we still in Program Improvement?  Why have we not met and exceeded federal (and our own) expectations?

I remember attending a California League of Schools conference a few years ago.  The keynote speaker cited how the gaming company Nintendo spends more money on Research and Development than the entire US Department of Education.  Crazy.  Where is the money going?  (I know, we can all answer that one.)

We have the ability to create a culture that is receptive of device use, yet doesn't lose the space for collaboration and communication.  The concepts behind the 4 C's of the common core make sense - I fear that the implementation doesn't.  Remember the "Don't smile until Christmas" concept?  I have never agreed with it, but think about the power an effective teacher has to create an environment of trust and respect, where new ideas are shared, learning is reciprocal, and everybody (students and teacher) is engaged.

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