The Test of Time

Happy New Year!  Welcome to 2015.

It seems like only yesterday that we were ushering in the new decade after the threats that the world would end over Y2K.  But now we’re firmly in the 21st Century.  Could there be a more overused, and meaningless term than “21st Century Educator“?

I tried to put it into perspective by going to the OSAPAC website to see what software titles were licensed way back then but the archive doesn’t go back far enough.  The list only goes back to 2003 when Tab + was licensed.  Oh, and OSAPAC doesn’t call them software any more.  They’re now known as Digital Learning Resources.  Catching my eye as I scanned the list was StarOffice which begat OpenOffice which begat LibreOffice, still the best desktop productivity suite across all platforms.  But, LibreOffice sure doesn’t compare to StarOffice which was ground breaking at the time.

But, even then, those who were using those software titles were “21st Century Educators”.  In fact, many of the students in those classrooms are now “21st Century Educators” on their own now.

All this reinforces my point.  Is the term even meaningful?  Are the classrooms the same?  Is teaching the same?  Is technology the same?  Are our expectations of a literate graduate the same?

Should the call to action be one of “let’s lose this term”?

I was excited this morning during my reading.  I saw an article “The Profile of a Modern Teacher“.  This is good.  I like the concept of teaching for the “now”, “current”, “modern”, …  It’s a good infographic and I would urge you to read and enjoy it.

How much in that infographic do you see in yourself?  How much in that infographic leads you to know that you can grow as an educator?

Sadly, the words 21st Century do appear near the top.

But, moving along.  Could we just drop the term?  I like “modern”, “current”, “now”, “evolving”, …  To me, 21st Century Educator doesn’t hold the test of time.  For those of you who can remember the software and the classrooms of 2003, are they the same now?  Hardly (I hope).  We’ve got so much better, realizing that it’s not necessarily the software that makes the classroom – it’s the connections, the constructions, the learning, the thinking, …

If you do long for the olden days, check out “Do You Remember“.  Thank goodness, we’ve moved along since then!

Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: Follow me on Twitter: I'm bookmarking things at:

2 thoughts on “The Test of Time”

  1. As for the Olden Days…we used to call it ‘lessonware’…from the precursor to OSAPAC

    From the ECOO Newsletter, March 1984..


    “TVOntario will be the distribution agency for the exemplary lessonware developed under contract to the Ministry of Education.

    At the end of April, the first eight programs will be released along with a catalogue describing the programs. The remainder of the programs commissioned in April 1982 are expected to be released in April by TVOntario by the end of August.

    As the official Ontario distribution agent, TVO represents the Ministry of Education which has purchased licences for use of these programs within Ontario schools. Each Ontario school board will receive two sets of the complete software package, including teacher and student guides and disks.

    The board is able to make further copies of these materials for use in its schools or can purchase additional copies from TVO at the cost of reproduction.

    Each board and Faculty of Education will be required to sign a licensing agreement which limits use and distribution of the software to use within the board’s schools.

    The initial fifty or so programs have been developed for computers already in the schools, principally Apple and Commodore machines. A project has begun at the Ministry to convert these programs to the approved educational microcomputer and its languages. It is expected that versions for the ICON will be available in the early fall.”



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