The Next New Thing in Education

It seems like every time a new thing is introduced in education you hear one of the following:  "No. not another new thing to learn... its always something".  "We just learned (insert thing), now we have to learn this"?  "TTSP--this too shall pass".  We have all heard it.  I have said these things myself in the past.  I understand the feeling, but we have to change our attitude as educators in the Digital Age.  From the time of John Dewey until the Digital Age, changes in education were relatively small and incremental.  The Digital Age has caused an explosion of exponential change that is rippling chaotically through all facets of education--often from the bottom up.  Progressive educators now have a voice and an ability to assemble---digitally.

Content, pedagogy, assessment, professional development, classroom management, communication, administration--everything is rapidly changing.  The tremors of change have not shaken public education uniformly, but its only a matter of time.  The question is, are you going to do the shaking, or will you be shook?  I would rather do the shaking.  With an expectation of change on the horizon, I want to be a part of the changing, not sit idle and wait for someone to change me.

Our school has used Moodle in the past, then Google sites was introduced this year along with a few other web hosts, now Edmodo is becoming popular.  Some people are just now getting really comfortable with Moodle, and we are off to a new thing.  Fear not; this is a good thing, and its something that will never go away--change.  Do we need to radically shift our class with every new shake in education--of course not.  We should all maintain a general style, but we can never stop.

In fact, education is very similar to our wardrobe.  We all have a general style.  New fads are always springing up--we don't buy everything, but we must buy something.  We can't be afraid to change out of what is comfortable.  We risk the metaphorical style of cousin Eddie.  Is this how you want your teaching to look?

It never stops.  We are never "there".  We ask our kids to keep learning more, push themselves, go farther, sharping their skills--shouldn't we?  Our classrooms are learning laboratories, and we must be educational scientists, lest we find ourselves in a leisure suit.

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