Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Seth Godin and Connections to Education.
Seth Godin has a great blog.  I think he would say it is about marketing.  I think it is about business, life and leadership on the internet.  It is worth a look for educators as well.
I think schools do need to get more of their content online.
In the next couple of years, the office for working America is going to be where ever you want it to be.  That is actually happening now.  If the office is someplace warm and sunny next week (I am writing this between cold snaps in Minnesota.) don't you think people are going to want to take their kids?  These families are going to want to keep up with school AND go.  Teachers, you have all seen the "requests for assignments" for this very reason.  
Have you seen the harried parent coming to school to get the worksheet that got forgotten in the locker?  Wouldn't it be easier to go online to get the same sheet?  Why does it have to be on paper?
There are tools that are more than ready to make this happen. Moodle, SmartMusic, Blackboard, some grade books, Google Docs, student-server access can all be used to make this change work. 
We can make this work.  But like Seth says in blog post, there is no clear cut way to do this, "the transition isn't structured in an orderly way."  Educators need to be the leaders in this situation or education may get lost in the confusion.
He also warns that this "isn't the old business, just with computers."  Same for education.  Not the same old school.  I think these changes will be a good.  Not the same, better.


Anonymous said...

Great idea! I have been wanting to establish this kind of communication with parents and students. However, many school districts like mine have populations that are low SES and do not have access to the internet from home.

Roger Whaley said...

Yes, that can be a problem. I think that problem is going away.

Internet is available in some pretty remote areas. I got a WiFi connection standing on a street corner in Ely, Minnesota on my iPod, so technical-geographical side of things seem to be in place.

Have you surveyed to see how many students in your district have access? I was surprised that 94.8% of my students had access to an internet connected computer.

Most of the parents in the minority that didn't have access at home can access at work. There is also the library...

I think we are going to be all wired up soon. I think it makes sense to start organizing the school end now, so when we all have a connection we are ready.