Teaching as Leading

“Education is the point at which we decide whether we love the world enough to assume responsibility for it and by the same token to save it from that ruin, which, except for renewal, except for the coming of the new and the young, would be inevitable. An education, too, is where we decide whether we love our children enough not to expel them from our world and leave them to their own devices, nor to strike from their hands their choice of undertaking something new, something unforseen by us, but to prepare them in advance for the task of renewing a common world.”
Hannah Arendt, Teaching as Leading

The future that never was

Paleo-FuturePaleo-Future is a very cool website that collects visions of the future as seen by people in the past. The motto is, “A Look into the Future that Never Was.”

Ideas for the classroom might be:

  • Use these as examples to create your own videos, pictures or articles about the future
  • Discuss what people thought would happen, but didn’t
  • Find examples of predictions that really did happen
  • Find out why these videos were made (eg was it a commercial, a contest, a prediction intended to warn people, etc.)
  • Find out more about who made these videos
  • Discuss the difference between technology change and social change, and why one might be more or less hard to predict
  • Look for examples of current commercials, books, or websites that predict the future. How far in the future are these predictions? What else might happen if they come true?

The Homework MachineHere are some fun places to start –

  • The Homework Machine is a good one. Chemistry done without actual messy chemicals and math drills – bad ideas never go out of style. Searching for things like “homework”, “classroom” and “textbook” provides hours of good finds.
  • 1999 AD and Online Shopping both have pretty good predictions about the use of technology in kitchens and for shopping, but the happy homemaker who controls all this and is a slave to her husband and children is pretty funny. She selects things and he pays for it, while grimacing at the picture of the handwritten bill on his screen. Why did they get some of the technology right (the appliances), some miss the mark (the handwritten bill), and the social stuff just completely wrong?
  • The Road Ahead: Future Classroom is from 1997– not that long ago. Cool technology, but does the student really say anything in his report?

Finding your ed tech sherpa

How do educators find out about new tools and technology, understand the educational implications, learn how others use them, weed out the many options, and (whew!) use them with students?

We recommend finding educational technology sherpas who will assist you as you make your own ascent up the mountain of technology integration. You still have to make the climb yourself, but like a climber at the base of Mt. Everest, a sherpa at your side gives you the benefit of experience, expertise and collective wisdom.

Once you have a blog reader, subscribe to a few blogs and simply start reading. Pick a few, like 3-5; you don’t need a cast of thousands. Spend a week or two reading, and see who you like, who resonates with you, who lights your fire and makes you want more. You will find that some overlap and cover similar subjects from a slightly different point of view. You will find links to other people and ideas. You will find people walking the talk in real schools around the world. You will find answers, questions, and new virtual friends who care deeply about changing education for the better.

It’s a risk-free relationship. If it’s not your cup of tea, just unsubscribe — no sneaking out of a workshop with eyes boring into the back of your head.

Most likely you will find that you are not alone, but on a path with many others just like you. It’s a comforting feeling.

Here’s a short list of ed tech sherpas to get you started:

This list could be much longer, but part of the fun is finding your own sherpas. Enjoy the journey!