Thursday, October 28, 2004

Innovation in our school districts

I needed to get a reality check on all this thinking I was doing regarding MAN’s, emerging digital technologies, networks and how it is all effecting learning. I met with a friend of mine who is the principal of an elementary school in my daughters school district. I’d also done some work for this principal seven years ago in the area of adult education. Mostly, the work I did was assisting parents get up to speed with computers and the internet. I also called a fellow in the school district responsible for instructional services, he has his pulse on the technology needs of the district. After these two conversations the information confirmed what I was suspecting and what I had read previously. In a lot of areas there exists a growing digital divide and there isn’t much we can do about it without providing ways to educate parents and teachers about these emerging technologies. And really we, as communities, don’t provide the infrastructure to encourage parents and teachers to deepen their understanding “and usefulness” of such things. For learning about these technologies can be expensive and time consuming.

Being hell-bent on trying to help out, I asked where could I provide some assistance. We came back to why we knew each other in the first place. Parent workshops about technologies. Given I have written technology roadmaps in the past I offered to put one together for the school district as a “non-biased” community member. If this roadmap bears fruit worthy of presentation I will create a parent teacher workshop for it’s presentation. I believe John Abbott would be happy with this, for it increases community involvement in our children’s education.