This is a photo of my 3-year old at the Apple store in NYC. Seems pretty amazing that she would have just as much fun in this store as she did at the famous FAO Schwarz store next door. She’s familiar with the iPod touch because she has a variety of apps that she plays with on my wife’s iPod touch so maneuvering through songs and apps is fairly easy to her.
Let’s look ahead 3-4 years from now when she is ready to enter 1st grade. Who even knows what other technologies she’ll be exposed to by then. How can the current school model possibly fit with her background and experiences? If she is in a typical American school, it probably won’t.
Will Richardson in his post entitled 2020 Vision questions the ability of our educational system to make substantial changes over the next 10 years. He mentions Alan Collins and Richard Halverson’s book Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America and their point that we are not going to fix education by fixing today’s schools.
While these ideas can be depressing I choose to look at how I can use this information to make me a better parent and school leader. I may not be able to influence the entire system, but I can certainly act within my own circle of influence. As a parent, I can provide my children with learning opportunities that better match today’s digital world and as a principal, I can strive to lead my school community into this digital revolution. In both roles I must constantly scan the current landscape and horizon to find out how technology is being used in real life now and in the future. I can then have meaningful discussions with my wife, children and community members on how these technologies can be used to adapt teaching and learning. Or maybe just learning.
By thinking about the challenge this way, I have hope for the future of education for my children and my students.