2011calendarDear principal or superintendent,

It’s a new school year, and that brings new opportunities…

  • Is this the year that you begin the task of transforming your classrooms into learning spaces that emphasize hands-on inquiry, critical thinking, collaboration, and problem solving instead of teacher lecture, rote practice, and fact regurgitation?
  • Is this the year that you get powerful digital learning tools into the hands of students – whether they be laptops, netbooks, or maybe iPads – so that they can start learning how to do knowledge work the way that knowledge workers in the real world do?
  • Is this the year that you finally invest some money in better technology integration support for teachers rather than simply buying more stuff?
  • Is this the year that you decide to confront what probably are brutal truths and survey your students in detail about how engaging and interesting their classes are?
  • Is this the year that your teachers pilot a unit or two where they use no textbooks whatsoever (paper or digital) and instead use wikis or social bookmarking tools with their students to co-curate a set of online learning resources that accomplishes the same (or better) learning goals?
  • Is this the year that your school system investigates what it means to effectively communicate these days and learns about how to present information online – hyperlinked/networked writing, online video, infographics, transmedia, etc. – rather than simply writing with ink on paper?
  • Is this the year that you experiment with some online learning in-house and have each teacher design/deliver a unit so that it is done wholly online rather than face-to-face?
  • Is this the year that you go out of your way – via multiple face-to-face, print, and online information channels – to help your parents and community understand what it really means to do effective workforce preparation these days?
  • Is this the year that you allow your students to give you input into how their own technological skills and interests can be better utilized in their learning environments?
  • Is this the year that you realize that other organizations are using social media to great effect to communicate with the people that they serve and that maybe you could too?
  • And so on…

Is this the year for you? If not, who’s going to do it if you don’t?

Image credit: Make your own planner

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