THE SEDUCTION and theS E P A R A T I O N Teaching for a Future of Connectedness WITHOUT Disconnectedness Notes from Heidi Jacobs and Sherry Turkle
Heidi Jacobs’ Curriculum 21“Do our students feel like they are time traveling through the door each morning? As they cross the threshold, do they feel as if they are entering a simulation of life in the 1980’s? Then, at the end of the day, do they feel they are returning to the 21st century?”
• As educators, our challenge is to match the needs of our learners to a world that is changing with great rapidity.• Paper is obsolete. The news we read today is outdated before it is delivered.• TEN PERCENT of the 21st century is OVER!! So – there’s no time to waste!• As we look forward, we restrict ourselves by “what we know” and “what we are able to do.” We need to think broadly!• We MUST become active researchers and developers of innovations and new directions.• We must rethink the curriculum – and decide what we need to Cut, Keep, and Create. We cannot keep our feet firmly in the 1980s while we soar into the 21st century. Leaving some practices and methods behind has to become our forward-thinking strategy. Trying to hold onto ALL past practices is weighing down educators and students – and sinking the boat!
Growth model vs. Change• Upgrading curriculum and developing new versions of school is critical, but it should be worked into the school culture gradually. Change can often feel trendy and superficial, but growth is positive and deep.• Four key structures affect curriculum: – The schedule ( short and long term) – The way learners are grouped – Personnel configurations – The use of space Shifts in these four areas should coincide with curriculum changes.
Myths That Become Obstacles in Creating Change The good old days are still good enough! “The real insecurity comes from NOT growing or changing.” Schools often are mirrors of what a culture values and aspires to. There are real dangers in glorifying the good old days and clinging to our schools’ myths and stories.” We’re better off if we all think alike – and not too much. Too much creativity is dangerous – and the arts are frills.
A 21st Century PledgeAssessments is where the change needs to begin – “Starting with assessments has proven to be the most successful portal to moving school faculty and administrators into 21st century teaching and learning.”The 21st Century Pledge is a curricular commitment from each teacher to : Integrate the use of technology to enhance content Review all current available technological resources (online resources: video streaming; internet web sites & subscriptions; Web Quest creation; Webcasting through laptop.) (Hardware resources: videoconferencing, laptop labs, digital cameras; digital recording studio.) (Creative software: Movie maker; Media Player; video clips via digital camera) Identify at least one specific unit to revise Plan to replace a specific content, skill, and assessment practice with a 21st century upgrade within the unit – then DO IT! Share proposed change with colleaguesAdministrators also commit to review, monitor, and provide feedback, as well as revise at least one staff development or administrative task.Teachers and administrators implement together, tolerate certain degrees of frustration, celebrate the victories, document and share with colleagues and on Web site.Upgrade model begins with consideration of assessment types, moves to content reviews and replacements, and then links both of these to upgraded skills and proficiencies.
Read Curriculum 21 by Heidi H. Jacobs for a more in- depth strategy for reinventing and reuniting school program structures.WEBSITES: www.ecoliteracy.org www.ODTMAPS.COM www.tc.columbia.edu/LIFE/ www.facingthefuture.com www.readwritethink.org/lessons www.medialit.org www.cloudinstitute.org www.ccsso.org www.sustainableschoolsproject.org www.teachingmedialiteracy.com www.clexchange.org www.designshare.com www.media-awareness.ca/ www.novemberlearning.com
Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together• We expect more from technology and less from each other – people prefer texting and emailing to personal contact.• We are insecure in our relationships and anxious about intimacy; we look to technology for ways to be in relationships – and protect ourselves from them at the same time.• We seem determined to give human qualities to objects and are content to treat each other as things.• We are lonely but fearful of intimacy, so digital connections offer the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship.
• It appears we have substituted connection for conversation - it is even preferred - and these lives of connection have left us emotionally and intellectually vulnerable.• Many young people use technology to avoid conversations – “performing a self; not living a self”• In any crowded room, you will see hands constantly in motion, connected to a technological device, disconnected from the face-to-face complexity of conversation.• However, the ability to be alone is essential. “If you don’t teach your children how to be alone, they will only know how to be lonely. Loneliness is failed solitude.”• Sherry asks us to “Read Alone Together – and then talk about it with colleagues, students, and friends – face to face.”