What is the future you would like to create?

Picture this…

I have been appointed the new principal of your school. As my first form of business, I think that the library should go.  Although they are full of information, there are much better ways to use that space and money that is allocated to that room.

How long do you think I would last?

Yet, as bothersome as this scenario would be to some (including myself), many have no issues with taking away devices from students in classrooms that not only have access to all of the information in the world but access to one another.

Yesterday, I noticed this article being shared; “Hays school district orders 800 padlocks for students“. I am glad that they are providing iPads to their students so it is not that they are not ignoring opportunities for both creation and consumption, but I am firm believer that the best device for any learner is often the one they own already.   I am never one to make sweeping generalizations over what any school or district does to serve their students as I do not totally understand their context, but I always think it is okay to ask questions.

For one, is there not anything else they could do with the money they just spent on padlocks?

How do we teach responsible use of your own device if you do not have access to your own device?

Will teachers lock up their own personal devices during the day as well?  Is this just a student thing?

This was an interesting comment in the article:

“One student’s phone was found, they lost it and had put it in the office, and it had buzzed, he said it buzzed in one hour, forty times with SnapChat messages,” said Thissen.

Soooooo…if the student had lost it and they didn’t turn off the ringer, would they have not known those messages were being received?  If a Snapchat notification is never heard, doesn’t that mean it doesn’t exist?

My belief is that dealing with technology and social media is not something we can simply use “hope for the best” as a strategy.

Dan Haesler wrote a great post on the notion that it would be crazy to teach driving the way we teach social media in many schools. Here were some of his thoughts:

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We can do better.

Recently, I saw this powerful video from 2011, and it reminded me of how much we take for granted.  Please take two minutes to watch it.

I do not know if the situation in that area is the same in 2017 as it is today, but I know in some parts of the world, they would be grateful to have access to some of the same technology that we literally ban from our classrooms.  Perspective is everything.

The quote below was amazingly powerful.

“Information is powerful, but it is how we use it that will define us.”

I am in no way advocating that students should bring their own devices so that they can just keep up their social lives. What I am hoping for is that we help our students think about the power that they have in their hands, and how they can use it in meaningful ways.

I always say to students, you have the world at your fingertips, what are you going to do with it?  Let’s not take for granted the opportunities we have as schools right now to change the narrative and direction of education in an amazingly positive way, so that we can just always hold on to “what was”.

Seth Godin, said it best;

Transformational leaders don’t start by denying the world around them. Instead, they describe a future they would like to create instead.

What is the future you would like to create?

Source: George Couros

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