This year, the frustration felt by millions nationally and internationally reached breaking points. The Tunisian fruit vendor who set himself on fire had no idea that this would be the beginning of the “Arab Spring,” toppling dictators in major countries in Africa. The protestors who set out to show their frustration and anger in the Occupy Wall Street movement hit a raw nerve in the American public, stemming protests around the country that grew in size and number. So how does this relate to education? Well, for one thing, we are heading into 2012, six years past the recognition of “You” by Time magazine, yet schools still try to block and restrict not only technologies, but teachers as well.
|Source: Certification Map|
|Source: Network movie clip on YouTube|
Well, there are breaks in the ranks. States seek waivers to opt out of NCLB requirements, Long Island principals protest new New York State teacher evaluation based on test scores, and students nullify a standardized test in defiance by writing essays about squirrels. Perhaps it's time for educational leaders, teachers and students to be like the memorable character Howard Beale in the 1976 movie Network and start shouting, "I'M MAD AS HELL AND AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE."
Technology has altered the learning landscape, and the educational system is reluctant to change with it. The youth of today do not live in a static world. For them, at least outside the classroom, the world is dynamic, interactive, animated, and collaborative. In fact, they know how to collaborate better than the hierarchical systems imposed upon them. Information in their world is fluid. In other words, content is free from the constraints of structural limitations. Students recognize this. Outside the classroom they are free from the restrictions of blocked websites, filters, wired access, and standardized tests. They know there are multiple points of view and access them with ease.
|Source: Michael Wesch, Information R/evolution|
|Source: United Opt Out National|