Are we bold (and brave) enough to educate children of today and the future? Are we REALLY willing to do whatever it takes? Can we push our thinking, let go, and recognize that significant systems and pedagogical shifts are necessary? Can we craft future learning environments that leverage all that technology offers? Why must teachers shift from “content delivery” to “facilitators and coaches”? Why is it critical to develop learning environments built on mass customized learning? Are you a connected, global learner? How might we shift the educational system so all educators become global, connected learners? How can we create a learning environment where all learners (staff, parents, students, admin) understand power and engage in continual learning, inquiry, problem-solving, and creation of content? How can an educator who fails to engage in these new learning environments possibly understand how to design and leverage this for their own students?
Do reform efforts and conversations focus on student engagement and ownership of learning? Why must our conversations and change focus on equity as much as excellence? How might we change learning environments so it’s about learning; not education? Are we willing to take the time to focus on transformation and starting with the why and vision of school? How can we balance and leverage the benefits of “bricks and mortar” with virtual or community learning environments? Why does content delivery continue to be the heavy focus of education when it’s at our students’ fingertips? Why do we consistently fail to allow student voice and choice in education and conversations about transformation and engagement? Why do teachers assume that engagement (or lack of) soley rests on our students and not the learning environment we create? Why do we continue to ask Googleable questions?
How can we shift the learning environment where students are engaging in deep inquiry and problem solving as the focus; not on simply passing the “test”. How can we create learning environments where the learner views education as something they create for themselves; rather than something that is delivered to them? Why do educators continue to “ban” access out of “fear and control” instead of teaching our students to critically evaluate the content and become self-directed, organized learners? Why do schools and education refuse to acknowledge and accept that radical systemic, institutional change is necessary? Why do schools continue to believe that the structure of our current system is preparing students for the “real world”?
These are all questions I ponder as I consider and plan for educational transformation. Hopefully, you’ll see these as powerful starters for conversations and reflections about future learning environments. We routinely start with the what in education – what standards, what tech tool, what text book, what resource, what program – and have very few conversations about the why of education, achievement gaps, shifting roles of teachers, the purpose of school, and most importantly – why we must change.
Although these shift won’t be easy; they are necessary or to coin a popular phrase, “moral imperatives”. Instead of operating from a place of fear, let’s embrace the change. Personally, these conversations and potential for radical shifts in education inspire and excite me. We have an opportunity to do something great, let’s embrace it!
Feel free to add questions and share your thoughts and feedback about this post!