Thursday, August 20, 2009

Daydreaming About Clouds

Wednesday was day one of teacher orientation. I hear that public schools MAYBE get one day of orientation but for us it's usually half a week or more.
The morning was spent hearing PowerPoint bullets read to us (a pet peeve of mine) but the content was meritorious. References were made to Friedman's book The World is Flat with several implications being drawn for education. Sometimes I feel like the bad boy in the room, bearing the brunt of tech blame for social changes. I usually like that feeling.
As I listened though, one thought kept coming to mind: The world ISN'T flat. It's cloud shaped. I think the playing field has not been leveled, it's been obliterated. There is no bottom up or top down, only fringe and mass. Then my next thought was school of fish or flocks of birds. That's what tech has done for society (and on a smaller scale education). The risk takers are on the edges, pushing us in new directions but always the most vulnerable to be eaten, while the majority stick together and follow the crowd.
So what do you think? How would you diagram our global technology and where kids' education fits into it? Can we fashion students who will "come out on top" if there is no top and bottom?