Saturday, December 1, 2007

The School of Tomorrow

The most comforting aspect of the school of tomorrow, School 2.0, was in the upper right hand corner.

Amid the excitement and cartoon bubble text reflecting our classrooms without walls was a web of advice to:

Parents, Teachers, Students, Administrators, Community Members, Technologists

Even policymakers were included. The one group I wanted to see listed was Educator Training Facilities. I don't doubt that Professors are in fact teachers and included in the encouragement to see "the world is your classroom - know that you don't have to have all the answers". My experience with college, particularly at a university, is one of self-teaching and discovery learning (mostly through texts and journals). However, for meaningful and lasting progress to take place in the mindset of educators, it must begin prior to their induction, as they're learning the theories and history of their craft.

There is no doubt that meaningful professional development can and does occur on site, in learning communities, and naturally, through online conferencing and continuing education. It is also fortunate that novice teachers leaving the universities are digital natives familiar if not intimate with the technologies availble for teaching and learning.

My concern is: if educators are being trained for instruction in classrooms with tables and chairs and (hopefully) integration of technology, when will they learn the pedagogy of embedded technology that can differentiate across multiple learning styles and intelligences. When will trained administrators be prepared for positions that do not support basic computer skills, rather have the expectation of innovative uses to improve teaching and learning.

I look forward to seeing University 2.0, not about financial planning, not about internal systems, but about teacher preparation, very soon.

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