Mar 27, 2009

No written word, no spoken plea, can teach our youth what they should be; Nor all the books on all the shelves, it's what the teachers are themselves. -- Given to John Wooden by his Father upon Graduation

I am a firm believer in partaking regularly of the wisdom of others, most especially our elder statesmen. John Wooden's TED talk, "Coaching for People, Not Points" touched me on so many levels, because it's fundamentally about education and what it means to be successful in life. Too often, we place such value on the destination (test results) rather than the journey (learning), that I think we lose sight of what it truly means to bring up a child.

Through poetry and wit, John reminds us that it's not our reputation, our awards, or trophies that define us, it's who we are - our character. As Coach Wooden says in the talk:

Success... is peace of mind, attained only through self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you are capable. -- John Wooden

Mar 18, 2009
In light of the current financial crisis and its inevitable impact on schools of all sorts, I worry about the near-term future of education and, more specifically, the role of education technology in the classroom. In particular, I'm concerned that, in most cases, we have failed to effectively integrate technology as an essential, strategic part of the educational process.

Don't get me wrong, I believe we've been heading in the right direction with ed tech, albeit slowly. In fact, I have witnessed a number of programs that suggest the beginnings of what I believe will be an important shift in the use of education technology. My only question is, is it too late? When budget cuts come, that which is viewed as neither strategic or essential generally finds itself on the cut list.

So how do education technologists make the right choices and demonstrate a measurable effect on teaching and learning in the classroom? The solution requires no less than an organization-wide cultural shift with regard to technology in schools - from the technology directors to integration specialists to principals and teachers. A few thoughts: