(Note: Your participation is requested belowâ€¦)
So itâ€™s taken me a couple of weeks to get to this reflection on the conversation I led at Educon. I hope those in attendance and online feel as I do that it was a pretty compelling session, and I like the fact that we had a tangible albeit undeveloped takeaway. Iâ€™m hoping maybe we can dive more deeply into it here.
Just as a reminder, hereâ€™s a link to the session description. We had about 100 people in the room and another 40 or so online grappling with the question â€œWhat are the â€˜bigâ€™ conversations that schools should be having in relation to the â€˜tectonicâ€™ shifts that are occuring with social learning online?â€ After some small and large group discussion, here is the list we came up with in no particular order:
- What does an educated person look like today?
- What are the essential practices of teachers in a system where students are learning outside of school?
- If some percentage of schooling is socialization and relationship building, how would that happen outside of school?
- How are we going to shift the expectations for schools from all of our constituents?
- How do we change policy to support more flexible time and place learning?
- How does our thinking of the physical space change?How do we support the changing role of teacher?
- What is the role of the teacher?Do we really need a physical space?
- How do K-12 and higher ed have this conversation about change together?
- What is the purpose of school?How do we teach kids ethics and citizenship?
- How do we continue to make school available to everyone?
- Is school a resource or it something we do?
- How do we adapt our curriculum to the technologies that kids are already using?
- How do we ensure that every child has access to learning opportunities outside of school?
- How do we make school fun?
- What should be compulsory about school?
- How do we make sure that the weakest forms of traditional schooling donâ€™t get amplified by technology?
- How do we avoid the social justice implications of an elitist model of education?
- How do we ensure those without privilege have equal access to quality education and opportunity?
- How do we become better equipped, both as individuals and as systems, to deal with change?
- What is preventing us from being adaptable to change?
- How do we rethink the reallocation of resources to support individualized instruction?
- We will be creating a new class of marginalized people with these shifts?
- What is the essential learning that schools impart to students?
- How do public schools prove that they are commtted to education all children?
- What risks are we willing to accept?
- What is our obligation to collaborate with other systems going through similar changes?
- How do we measure or assess the effectiveness of individualized self-directed learning outside of school?
- How do you validate or evaluate informal learning?
- How do we help students discover their passions?
- Who is going to pay for equity of access to these environments?
- How can we use our best resources more effectively for our students?
May just be me, but thatâ€™s a pretty impressive list. And pretty daunting in some respects. I think many of these are worth delving into further, and Iâ€™m hoping you might be willing to help narrow these down to the â€œtop 10â€³ of these and then start a conversation on each one of them through a series of blog posts.
Keep the conversation goingâ€¦Join in!
Iâ€™ve added all of these to a Google form where you can check off the 10 that you think might be most worth diving into. (I would embed it, but itâ€™s not rendering very well in the blog.) If we could get a bunch of people to chime in over the next couple of days, then perhaps we could really crowdsource some responses. Heck, maybe we can even collectively write a book around these ideas that might work as a guide to starting these conversations in schools. Dream big.)
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