Tuesday, June 28, 2011

#ISTE11: Should We Hang On to Our Horses?

Computer-carson

Finding a moment to relax and reflect on the past few days at ISTE 2011, I'm realizing that my time in Philadelphia has been akin to drinking from a fire hose. With hundreds of sessions to choose from and an equivalent number of vendors, the landscape for educational change through expanding use of technology is as incredibly vast as it is exciting. But at the same time, it's frustrating.

I can't help but come back to one of the five critical challenges in the Horizon Report 2011 K-12 Edition:

A key challenge is the fundamental structure of the K-12 education establishment — aka “the system.”

The contributors to this important annual report imply that traditional schools and their respective staffs are soon to find themselves irrelevant if they don't adapt to the changing methods and opportunities students have available for learning. School communities that hesitate will find themselves in a similar position as if the United States Army had decided to continue using horses while the rest of the world's military adapted to the technological change of the motorized vehicle - dead in the water.

Spending time at ISTE has certainly made one thing even more clear for me than ever before: the process of learning is changing and digital technology is helping drive that change, driving it perhaps at a rate faster than many of us will be able to keep up with, especially if we hang on to our horses.