Recently a school administrator shared a story that reminded me why I need to spend more time talking to more people outside of the echo chamber.

She said that a group of parents had requested a meeting to discuss the methods of a particular teacher and his use of technology. It seemed this teacher had decided to forgo the textbook and have students write their own on a wiki, that he published a great deal of his students’ work online, that he taught them and encouraged them to use Skype to interview people who they had researched and identified as valuable voices in their learning, and that he shared all of his lectures and classwork online for anyone, not just the students in his class, could access them and use them under a Creative Commons license.

When the administrator got the phone call from the parent who wanted to set up the meeting, she asked for some sense of what the problem was. The reply?

“Our students don’t need to be a part of a classroom experiment with all this technology stuff. They need to have a real teacher with real textbooks and real tests.”