To My Fellow Administrators Who Deny Access: There is Much More To Be Afraid Of!

For all of the school administrators and/or school policy makers who are hell bent on making sure that resources that can assist in learning remain off the table in their schools,  you may need to add to the ever-expanding list of things to which you deny learners access if Google’s latest innovation (see video above) or anything like it hits the market.  Then again it really isn’t a matter of when these types of technological advances will become available, it’s really a matter of how soon.

Is there  a point in time that you will be embarrassed at the opportunities that you denied learners due to your narrow-mindedness?  Isn’t the job of school administrators to add to the list of resources that our staff and students have access too?  When will you realize that we are blessed to be in our positions at such a wonderful moment in history?  Obviously, I have a lot more questions than answers.

The following statement from Richard Halverson has been stuck in my mind since reading More Districts Are Rewriting Acceptable Use Policies, Embracing Smartphones and Social Media in Schools by Heather Chaplin:

“It’s a historical hiccup in the history of learning,” said Rich Halverson, a learning scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the lead researcher on KidGrid, a mobile app that helps teachers study and analyze student data. “Here we had the most sophisticated advances in the history of learning banned from schools out of fear.”

Imagine looking back on your career and having to admit that you denied your students access to innovative resources?  Now that is something to really be afraid of!


  1. I could not agree more. If we each listed the 10 innovations that we worried would mean the end of education over the last 30 years, it would be a telling list. Sure these things make us uncomfortable and a bit afraid; we need to embrace that discomfort, and that starts with leadership. Show me a school leader who lives out his/her model of embracing risk and I will show you a school that is going places.

    April 9, 2012
  2. Matt Renwick said:

    Nice post. I appreciate that you have more questions than answers. It is true that we are living in historic times in education. We, the adults, need to keep up and stay current with the tools that students are using for learning. The goal is to prepare them for tomorrow, not necessarily for the next grade level or the state assessment. Thank you for sharing your insightful thinking.

    April 10, 2012
  3. But Patrick, how can you control the masses if you educate them properly? How can we get them to believe in the myths of fairness if we allow them to learn the true rules of the game? How can we dictate ‘merit’ if we give learners access to tools that we don’t have control over? How can school administrators maintain their lofty positions of authority if they let kids discover the power of discovery that resides OUTSIDE the school walls? How can School Districts play the ‘limited resources’ card for why they invest poorly in education, if they let kids have access to tools that create low cost and unlimited learning opportunities?

    Of course the administrators should deny access to these tools for failing to do so will expose just how backward, limiting, and small minded they’ve been toward true educational opportunities. It’d be just too hard to label kids as ‘slow’ or ‘unmotivated’ if you give those kids the tools that rock their education world! Far better to keep them in the educational dark ages

    Marcus Barber

    April 10, 2012
  4. April Estep said:

    My favorite part of reading this is the giant “YOUR ACCESS TO THIS SITE IS DENIED!” message I have where the video should be.

    April 20, 2012
  5. Colleen Cotton said:

    I agree. My school just got You Tube and I absolutely love it!! We are denying them so many opportunities when we limit their access.

    June 2, 2012
  6. Anthony Mooring, M.Ed said:

    It is true that we need to integrate technology into the classrooms of the 21st century. It appears that most school system are worried about what can go wrong or done wrong with technology. It is important that understand the power of social media the good, the bad, and ugly and use what is necessary to move our schools into the 21st century

    June 15, 2012

Comments are closed.