This year, more than ever, there was so much followup discussion following the Western Regional Computer Advisory Committee’s Symposium.
I must admit that I’m taken aback by the tone of some of the comments, There are comments like “I doubt that things will change” and “Here are reasons why it won’t work” and “I’m concerned about equity” and “It’s all the Technical Department’s” fault and probably more than what I know about.
I think of this powerful quote. A good friend of mine uses it as the default tagline on all of her messages.
“Our task is to provide an education for the kind of kids we have… Not the kind of kids we used to have… Or want to have… Or the kids that exist in our dreams.” Mary Kay Utecht
It’s not a big leap to translate “kids” to “technology” and “connectivity” and “access”.
As educators, we face challenges every single day. Many of these challenges are imposed from the outside and there’s not always things that we can do about it. But, we need to embrace and take charge of those things that we can’t challenge. I truly hope that the discussion was meant to be sensational and spark some conversation. I hope that folks aren’t going to roll over and say “We can’t do it because things aren’t right…”
Things will never be right. Things will never be perfect for all people.
There are challenges all over the place. Yes, I get frustrated that I can’t just hop onto Google Images when I need an image for a presentation or a document. But, you know what…there are plenty of other sources for images that are available to me.
I hope desperately that the comments are borne in the desire to do the very best that we can and that there is optimistic hope that we’re moving in the right direction. Things in education can be slow to move but they are moving. I found out recently that the Ontario Mathematics teachers will soon have professional development surrounding Web 2.0 technologies in the Intermediate Years’ mathematics classrooms. This isn’t something that would be easy to predict a few years ago but we have contemporary educators like Ross Isenegger of Mathfest who know what’s right and are behind this initiative.
There are givens. There will never be enough computers, enough bandwidth, enough access, enough refreshing of hardware and technology, …
But, we are professionals and will do the best that we can. We can always do more with more and we need to constantly communicate this to those who allocate monies to education. We need to always be moving along. To paraphrase Mr. Warlick, we cheat the kids when we don’t.