I really enjoyed the Seymour Papert piece, and I found myself nodding along in agreement and understanding as I read it. His discussion on the irrelevancy of school and how students have to essentially unlearn what they are taught in school in order to succeed in the workplace was an ‘aha!’ moment for me. He made so many profound points, but I think my favorite “community point” was when he talked about collaborating with Marvin Minsky when they ended up presenting the same theorem. Instead of viewing themselves as competitors and adopted an attitude of “I did it better,” Papert saw this common ground as a means to collaborate. This has many implications for my online course. Anytime new standards are adopted, so is new curriculum. New curriculum inevitably means publishing companies competing for business. I would never suggest a national curriculum, but would it be so bad if there was some collaboration instead of just competition between the publishers? We are all working towards the same standards here, and a community mindset would benefit teachers AND students.
For me, being ‘visionary’ means anticipating the needs of students in the future. Teachers have a reputation for sticking to the status quo, and getting stuck in their style of teaching. I want to blow that notion out of the water and shout from the rooftops that teachers are ready to evolve! We truly want what is best for our students, and building community among teachers in all states as we work towards the Common Core Standards is what will lead us there.
For this week’s other reading, I was drawn to the ones that have a K-12 focus. iEarn especially interested me and I found a few other articles that feature projects like Moving Voices that work towards globalizing K-12 classrooms: