Friday, December 26, 2008
School 2.0 Website Review Thoughts
Obtainable in Littleton?
Figure 1 The School 2.0 Learning Ecosystem (http://etoolkit.org/etoolkit/map)
As I perused the School 2.0 site at http://etoolkit.org/etoolkit/, I did so with the question they posed in mind: How might these elements be part of your vision for what schools in your community can provide?
My community’s school has put the cart before the horse in a manner of speaking. Perhaps that isn't a totally accurate visual; perhaps I’m not being fair to the system; perhaps a lot of things. However, I do know that within the high school students are taking online courses and feel overwhelmed and unprepared for them. It seems we are offering new avenues for students to acquire knowledge, but we are missing the foundations to allow them to be successful in that environment. I wish to focus on this one mode of School 2.0 knowledge acquisition: online or distant learning classes.
School 2.0 states, “These tools lead to the creation of a set of living documents that capture the community's education vision and that serve to guide the school or district through the process of creating learning environments that are future focused and that leverage technology to be both engaging and productive.”
I wonder if our district is looking at the tools we have or that are available to us and backtracking them to the needs of the learner or the readiness of the learner. Does that make sense? We may be establishing modes of knowledge acquisition that we haven’t prepared students for. Or perhaps those modes of knowledge are still set in the traditional instruction of students without the person-person interaction. Now I know I am becoming vague and even distorted. What I am thinking about is a blog post I read, perhaps The Fischbowl, that questioned if our online and/or distant learning instructors should undergo student teaching in that setting either in addition to or instead of the traditional classroom setting. With all that is available to us as learners, are we really meeting the needs of our students?
I also wonder if our school has ever focused or functioned with a “community’s education vision” in mind. Who is guiding my school in the creation of learning environments? I see it as a here and now approach. A some will and some won’t approach. I don’t see that there is a vision or that conversation has occurred to create a “community’s education vision.” Perhaps there is effort being made to help achieve this; however, what most people see in our school community are leaders that are treading water. If there is a vision it needs to be shared. If were shared at this point it would not be a community vision as teachers would not have been involved in the establishment of that vision. There needs to be a vision; there needs to be a continuum of learning approaches from the early grades to help prepare our students for a world of knowledge that is still being formed. We all need to work together to make that happen. First and foremost we must keep our learners in mind. We need to trust one another's knowledge; administrators, teachers, learners, and community members are all equals in this visioning.
Figure 2 The School 2.0 Transformation Tools (http://etoolkit.org/etoolkit/transtools)