Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What Century Are We In?

Take someone from 1850 and drop them in a modern hospital, they will be lost. Drop them in a modern airport, they will be confounded. Drop them in a modern garage, they will be discombobulated. There are little similarities for these folks between 1850 And 2009, until they walk into a modern school. Desks, books, chalkboard... hell yes, they'll recognize it as a classroom. Is this what we want for our children?

Even worse, walk through the hallways of a modern school and you'll see posted on door after door: NO CELLS PHONES/ NO iPODS. Go into the library and half the internet sites are blocked. What are we doing to ourselves? Union Square Ventures has recently put out a list of what future trends schools can expect, and teachers were compared to the bank tellers of the 1970's, and newspapermen of the present. New research is showing that Internet blocking/filtering is actually detrimental to student learning!

If we continue to shut out phone technology and block the internet we might as well be considered obsolete. Schools must teach appropriate use of the internet, not block it. We must teach appropriate use of cell phones, not ban them. No wonder students see us as fossils, we are as lithified as any trilobite. They are technology natives and we are the immigrants. But we remain ignorant immigrants, keeping to our own ways and languages while our children turn away from us. Teach appropriate use, gather our students' technologies up into our collective arms and embrace this networked magic before it replaces us.


  1. damn it doesnt tell me

  2. Enjoy the cartoon I made recently:-)

  3. I don't really agree with the digital natives/immigrants terms. By that thinking, my students should be able to do all the tech things I bring to class. They can't. Some don't even understand that Myspace and Facebook are social networks and not email programs.

    However, I do agree with your appropriate and responsible use. I think that a qualified teacher who knows technology teaches this. I've had only a couple of incidents of knuckleheads doing the wrong things in class. Partly because I work them so hard on the appropriate things and partly because they know appropriate use.

    The problem is the teacher that brings students to the lab once or twice a year for research and turns them loose. This is why there are filters. Just like students, a few teachers can ruin for all.

    Second, just about all my middle schoolers have a cell phone with a texting plan. Think about what we could do with this!

    Great post, great discussion!