The Principal of the Online School in my School District asked me a really interesting question regarding the growth of our vision within the district and the region. She asked, “What are the 2 or 3 big pieces that we need from the system/district?”
I was taken aback by this question. Is it possible that my district really wants that kind of input? Can I really influence the future just by asking for it?
This question begs us to examine what we want to ask of our institutions. Many times we just assume that our institutions are not interested in what we have to say or what we would like to create, but perhaps they just need to know what it is that we need. So, this is what I have been thinking about:
What are the 2 or 3 big pieces that I need from “the system” in order to create the Authentic Learning Environments I have been writing about, podcasting about, trying to create, and aching to find?
- We need teachers who do not have to pile technology-rich learning experiences on top of their every day classrooms. We need teachers who are hired to simply do the work of creating a ripe environment for students online (or are at least shared with a brick and mortar in some kind of ratio that makes sense).
- We need to be able to rewrite the rule book a little on what tools are okay to use in classes. It should not be a don’t ask, don’t tell policy. It should be a conversation about which technologies really do produce the most authentic learning for the most students.
- Ideally, I want access to a learning spa, where teachers can come in and learn all that they can about teaching online without the fear of being rushed or having to regurgitate the information for students. I want a place that will create culture among students, a place to do projects with kids that will get them comfortable with the tools they will need in order to take courses online. I want a place where teachers are encouraged to create a community, to have a shared vision, to stay informed, and to create something new. It would be nice if that place existed as a brick-and-mortar entity and not just as a consistent webinar meeting.
What would you ask for if you knew your district was listening?
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