Investing in the Status Quo

Arne Duncan:

If all we do is invest in the status quo, then we've missed this once-in-a-lifetime historic opportunity to give our children the education they desperately need and deserve.
Seems like this would make a nice mantra even for folks starting up a new district.

On that note, have I mentioned that we're hiring? School-base tech support positions will be opening this week.

Time Suck

In this week's Tech Learning post, I make a few arguments that you've likely heard me make before - not because the issues have changed - but rather because there are simply so many distractions in modern life that we need reminding far more often than we'd ever like to admit.

Here's a summary, in case you might be too busy for the entire post itself.

Now I'm not saying that Twitter is any worse than Facebook.

In fact, what I *am* saying is that ALL of these social media tools can be an incredible time suck, and if we don't keep them in check, there's a good chance we'll miss out on many things in life that are simply better than whatever we might get from Twitter (and Facebook, and even bacon).

Twitter: Better Late Than Never

With so many high-caliber people finally digging in (acquiesce?) to the utility of Twitter, I'm finding myself approach such widespread new-found enthusiasm with mixed emotion. On the one hand, I'm grateful that people are finally realizing what we've been saying for years: Twitter can be an extremely powerful tool/experience. On the other hand, I feel somewhat dismayed that it has taken so long for folks to catch on. Regardless, I'm excited for the direction now being taken by leaders in my new district.

In yesterday's Between the Lines, my Superintendent publicly admitted that he's willing to give Twitter a try:

Canyons [School District] also may be able to use such communication tools to foster learning, civil public discourse and more active participation in classrooms and communities. Our staff is investigating several technologies as opportunities for engagement, including blogging, Twitter, mass text messages and e-mails. That’s also part of the reason (curiosity, I’ll admit, is another) that I’m checking out Twitter. If we are going to understand how these tools might be used in positive ways to improve student achievement or public dialogue, we must be willing to try them out and learn about them ourselves. As for my experience, so far so good.
I can't tell you how excited it made me to read this. Definitely better late than never!

Quick questions:
  • Why don't more school administrators use Twitter (what costs/risks are involved)?
  • Does your district administration currently utilize Twitter or other social networking technologies?
  • If not, what would it take to change their minds?

If you, too, are new to Twitter, then you may be interested in a few of the conversations we've already had regarding its usefulness in educational settings. These are a few of my favorites that I've thrown out there to chew on:
Image source: Flickr user Scott McLeod.

Tech & Learning

So, this should be a good gig.

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