Long ago--long before this blog, before in fact most readers would have heard of the Net--I had this dream: Learning could be accomplished on a computer.
The dream was actually much more than that. The dream was that computing could change school, could change learning. Could change the basic relationships between students, teachers, and the state; between publishers and teacher trainers and certifiers; even with the People who pay the bill.
Unimagined advances in tech have since arrived. Retina displays? Full screen, high def video via the net? Personal blog, video, book publishing? None of that was in the vision. But the changing of school was.
In 2012, school still hasn't changed. Students have changed, with the games and tools they are growing up with. Teachers have. Publishers have. Even legislatures are digital. School--the teaching, the learning, the assessing is still analog. And still very hierarchical and '1950's-ish-institution-driven.
Yet yesterday I had the hope that we might finally be at that last real barrier to systemic flip. It's possible. Pray, summon the Force, tune yourself to the cosmic field,...maybe we can make this last bridge.
Universities have already committed down the path. They don't all like it; a survey recently showed most professors don't embrace it at all. Yet online classes have proved their tenure; blended classes in the academy are almost the norm.
What remains is to connect this model to the average K-12 school.
Yesterday morn it still looked a long slog.
I have hope today that the students can save us. I have hope that we can give them just enough power that they can drive their own paths into digital and blended learning.
Hope that the walls between classrooms might blur a little; that teachers can become focused on learners not delivery; that quietly occupying a seat will no longer be the main activity of a student.
I've advocated for the last link to this for two years now; worked on little else the past six months. I truly hope and pray I'm not overly-optimistic with this post. But maybe, maybe...it could actually be time...