My name is Jon Becker and I am an assistant professor in the Department of Foundations, Leadership and Policy Studies (FLPS) of the School of Education and Allied Human Services (SOEAHS) at Hofstra University. You might wonder why Scott is willing to have me guest blog this week…and your guess is as good as mine. It’s probably because Scott knows I have a lot to say on matters about which he and I care deeply and he’d rather read it than hear me talk. Regardless, as I begin my guest blogging stint, I’m inspired by those who’ve blogged before me. David Warlick. Will Richardson. And, now, on this site, Scott McLeod along with previous guest bloggers David Quinn and Steve Poling. Thanks for having me, Scott, and I hope I can add some value to the ed. tech. blogosphere.
For today, here are some snippets about me and my beliefs that might engage you enough to keep you reading for at least the rest of the week:
*I am what Will Richardson calls a “nomadic learner.” Like Will, “I graze on knowledge. I find what I need when I need it. There is no linear curriculum to my learning, no formal structure.” I firmly believe there are millions of kids who are like that too, but they are forced to attend schools that know nothing but sequence and boxes and compartments and labels. For me, the only boxes I care about are those that have a microchip in them.
*Ed. tech???…Frankly, I’m tired of the excuses. “We don’t have time for that.” “We can’t afford that.” “That’s not what we do.” Nonsense! How can you/we NOT afford to bring the institution of schooling in line with our 21st century society? And, in this asynchronous world our children live in, what is time anyway?
*I’m annoyed by the “technology as tool” mentality that permeates the K-12 world. Tools are limited in their application. Technology, on the other hand, makes possibility limitless. As my colleague and mentor Dale Mann once told me, “digital is different.” Most people are afraid of different.
*But, some have embraced difference. Districts like Lemon Grove, CA and Plano, TX are glorious educational technology lighthouses, and I’m moved by the possibilities they represent. But, they are WAY too few and far between; they are the examples, the exceptions. We need to make them the norm.
I could go on…and I will, but no more today. It’s been a formal day of atonement for me. I look forward to starting this (Jewish) new year in blogging mode.