Doug Johnson, a technology/media director and owner of the Blue Skunk Blog recently posted about the need for a student revolt. To revolt for education and opportunities. He briefly goes into how his district provided the infrastructure and tools (hardware/software) for them to collaborate and create.
So he talks about the future they can have using these tools. Creating content. Analyzing data. Allowing the teacher to facilitate and coach, but not lead. Then he asks for the students to step up and:
- Teaching your teachers about how you use technology to learn.
- Taking classes from teachers who fit your learning style when possible.
- Exploring options to traditional schooling [online classes for example] when you feel underserved by regular classes.
- Serving on your school governering bodies (such as student council, the technology committee) and advocating for allowing the responsible use of student owned technologies and least-restrictive filtering of Internet resources.
- Communicating with educational leaders and politicians YOUR ideas of effective education.
That really is what we need in education. We now see more and more teachers utilizing technology, not because of their interest, so much, as the students pushing them since that’s what they do every day, all day. We see this with the districts trying to make sense out of mobile phones. Whereas in the past, they simply blocked their use (or tried to), now they want to harness that interest and use phones as tools (Project KNect in North Carolina being one example). As a society, we need to look more at the tools and get students involved. Tools like Carnegie Mellon’s Alice programming language should be offered to middle schoolers as a prerequisite for high school. Then maybe you could take an Android (or iPhone) App development course. We need to look more at open source tools to allow students the flexibility and creativity to design their own content and create their own meaning for their learning. Think about a GPS-tied Revolutionary War app that shows all the major battles, the key members, and some simulations. What a great way to show understanding of a topic. We do need a student revolution, and we need it quickly!
Image used under Creative Commons license by Picasa Web Album user YiYu and their Social Studies’ Class