We Navigate a Moving Table

I’m finishing an article for the Classroom Connect Connected Newsletter, and I’m really enjoying myself. It’s tentatively called “New Approaches to Student Laptop Programs,” and it’s offering an opportunity to synthesisize a lot of thoughts on the issue. One thought has to do with the changing culture of computer use in our schools.

Columbia RiverWhen we sail the Columbia River, I always think of it as a moving table. I may aim the boat directly at a crane on the far side of the river, but if I hold that course we’ll acutally end up hundreds of yards downriver from the crane. To arrive where we want to, we have to “skew” the boat toward the current, navigating an angle instead of a straight line.

It’s amazing to me that so many of our technology programs are currently shaped by fears and goals that are either fading or no longer exist. Every year, even our most basic computer users become more adept, and the worse virus we deal with is teachers’ digital pictures filling up hard drives. The point here is that the culture of computer use is always moving forward, and it’s foolish to think that most of our teachers and students use or learn about computers more at school than at home.

The table, or context, of our technology programs is constantly shifting. Even the “big news stories” about technology problems serve to move everyone forward. As a result, we need to rethink our technology programs and how they are moving as well. The best part of this is that old fears have faded, and new opportunites arrive every year.

As for the article– don’t worry. It has absolutely no references to sailing in it. :)

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