Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Paying it Forward

What does Benton Community Middle School have to offer other schools in their thinking about becoming or improving their 1:1 program?

That's the premise of today's post.  How can we share our 1:1 learning with other schools so they can sucessfully implement their 1:1 program?  This is a huge question -- but I really believe an even more important question is "How can we really make the school of today relevant for our current students, not the students we were thirty years ago?" (I'm aging myself -- yikes!)

Today, we put a technology device in student's hands -- but if our systems don't fundamentally change the "what and how" of the experiences students are receiving in our schools -- we have created a much larger gap for students to overcome once they graduate.

Recently, I listened to Steve Jobs and Seth Godin on TedTalks highlighting their beliefs focusing on the importance of moving beyond the industrial age in schools.  They speak enthusiastically of having students and staff create "more passionately" and connecting the dots, not collecting the dots from students. Godin ends his talk by saying "If you care enough about your work to be willing to be criticized for it then you have done a good days work!"

So, opening up our doors to visitors who want to learn and be willing to ask us critical questions will hopefully teach us how to get better and continue to strive to meet the needs of the students we have in today's classrooms to prepare them for their tomorrow.  Thus, creating educational experiences, as Jobs implied might help "connect dots looking forward", both for our students and our staff. 

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