Sunday, July 22, 2007

Building School 2.0 vision from the foundation UP...

There seems to be another recurring theme that came out at the summit and that was the idea about a need for a good foundation. One of the attendees said to me on the way to dinner.... "I thought I knew a lot about using technology...but now I feel as if I was really building this phenomenal addition where others were tearing their houses down and creating a new house or vision." And that struck a chord for is not about the computers. They Dewey quote in my last post When thinking about using the tools of technology we need to be careful not to force technology use as an add on to an already packed curriculum, but find a way that they become a foundation for what we are doing. I noticed when we were doing our brick activity that some of the group had already made this shift. They organized their bricks from the bottom up as the bottom terms created the FOUNDATION for the rest of the ideas...and the foundation is most important. Chris Lehman had a great post a while back that looked at some of the things we should be considering as we build the foundation of school 2.0...
  • It's really not about the computers. School 2.0 is older than that. School 2.0 is the tradition of Dewey. School 2.0 is born out of the idea that active, engaged, constructivist learning will lead to active, engaged students and people.
  • it is a place where our knowledge, our ideas, our communication is no longer bound by the walls of our school or the hours of our school day.
  • creating schools that reflect the world we live in today and creating schools that teach adaptability so that we can prepare for the world we will live in tomorrow
  • it is is about process as much as it is about product and it is about collaboration
  • it means understanding that facts, information, skills, meaning and wisdom are different, and that each one is valuable. But it also means understanding that facts and information used to be the top of the hierarchy where as now, skills, meaning and wisdom need to be. And it means that we as educators have to understand that meaning and wisdom are co-created.
Some really powerful conversations were started at KTI Summit and already I see these conversations returning to districts so that they can begin to tear down the walls of their current systems and begin to build the foundation of this new vision from the foundation up. I know Chris Lehman had many more ideas in his posts, but I'd like to see yours...


  1. I agree with this entire post but I also feel that until our districts see the LIGHT that most of us saw during the summit and provide the funding for the technology we have to just “build additions”. Classrooms for the Future helps tremendously to put the resources and equipment into the hands of the teachers, but there are many educators out there who are still struggling and frustrated with obsolete technology. It is very difficult for some educators to see past the technology that doesn’t work to the future and what a great tool technology can be. There are still a lot of skeptics out there, even the ones who use email, text messaging, IM, ipods and other new technology in their personal lives. They don’t see the connection between the personal use of these technologies and their classrooms. I believe this is where we, the KTIs, must step in. Although all our buildings may not have 1:1 computers we can still share, collaborate and construct with the resources available to us. It is our obligation to converse with our colleagues, share the resources and ‘cool stuff’ we know, to create meaningful learning scenarios in which the students of today actually learn.

  2. Wow!!! My first blog post on a Kristin Hokanson blog no less. Ok, here goes. In response bullet 4 in the remarks, I agree that more emphasis need be given to process as we forge forward into the classroom of the future. However, the great challenge as we do this is to not compromise product as this happens. We need to be careful not to lose focus on product but to "widen" the focus to include process. If so we run the risk of embracing mediocrity and making mastery of content the exception to the rule. Obviously, I speak from the assumption that mastery of content has tremendous value. In as much that is has the sound of a high standard, I feel that it worth embracing as important. As the focus widens to incorporate process the challenge of becoming a master teacher becomes greater. It is in fact more to master and last I checked we are not manufacturing the commodity of time so there is more on the plate for teachers to learn and execute with efficiency. It will in fact take a paradigm shift for teachers as they plan to provide the context in which kids learn that is consistent with the classroom of the future's standards and expectations. My question as a math teacher used to be, "How can I get kids to solve equations?" Now it is becoming, "Can I get my students to solve equations with kids in Australia via a video conference or while collaborating in a wiki?" It is all changing so rapidly.

  3. I believe School 2.0 is not a shift towards technology, but a redesign in the educational model. Collaboration and creativeness will replace memorization and template style learning. We need to invite students, administrators, community members, staff and beyond to become part of the process of learning. Schools need to be caring and enjoyable institutions where everyone finds a role to play. The first step to making this happen is communication. Not the passive listening, I'm still going to do what I know is best, kinda listening. We need to hear and embrace the needs and wants of all educational stakeholders even if we don't like what is being said. Bring students, business leaders, vendors, administrators, community members, etc... together to share without interruption. The dialog that will be shared will lay the bricks of School 2.0. No cookie-cutter solutions will be dispersed to the masses. Each community will need to hear and address their specialized needs. Through continued open forums with everyone invited to the table, empathy will be born. The more you talk the less you hear. Education needs to ask good questions and take even better notes. We were born with one mouth and two ears. By nature, listening is more important, right? =)

    Soapbox off!