We say we believe it, but if don’t act on it, it is not because we can’t or because something or someone is preventing us, rather it is because we really don’t believe it. I’m not talking about being half in either, I’m talking about all or nothing, so do it or stop kidding yourself.
Last week John Biringham columnist/blogger for The Age newspaper wrote Why I’ll be kicking you off this blog bemoaning the quality of comment section of his posts (and the other Fairfax posts) as open sewers. And looking at the comments on posts of the major Australian newspapers, you’d be hard pressed to argue with him. Stooges from all political parties, unions and lobby groups, pushing their agendas, making outrageous claims and belittling others. But it would be wrong to put this down to the commenters, they are just meeting the expectations of the newspapers. See Fairfax is just playing lip service to the new reality of the social web and user generated content. They don’t really believe there could be any scenario where commenters could add any value, so they neglect them. They’ve designed the system to fail and reinforce what they already knew. They only have the comments there so they can shrug when the board and the shareholders ask why the share price is still plummeting. We’re hip they say, we have comments and a twitter account.
They say they believe the Internet has changed news but they really don’t. They are the experts, they are the professionals, and the commenters are well, the commenters. Fairfax will let us play on their site, but only as John describes it, in the open sewer.
The fact that this post comes only a couple of months after Eric Beecher detailed that he had outlined a “catastrophe scenario” to the Fairfax Board eight years ago. They thought Eric was cray, and pulped the report, turns out he under estimated the problem Fairfax now finds itself.
What does this have to do with education?
If Eric Beecher had written a report eight years ago about formal education no doubt he would have also warned of a “catastrophe scenario.”
Now is the time to be all in. By all in I mean, reimagining everything we do in light of what modern technology makes possible. Looking carefully at all the compromises teachers make every day and assessing whether they still apply in today’s world.
And when we do this. No excuses. No excuses why we’ll have to wait until later. No excuses that our staff, parents and students aren’t ready. No excuses about copyright and cyber safety. No excuses about money and equity.
There aren’t any justifiable excuses, sorry. Excuses show that we’re just like Fairfax, we’ll pay lip-service, we might even convince ourselves that we believe it, but deep down we don’t.
We’re still the experts and professionals, we say to ourselves, and that will never change. We’ll teach and the technology will integrate and engage.
Sorry not good enough, now is the time to be all in.