23 years ore 23 seconds – to rebuild a house of learning?

THE Daily Mail, reports a story in which a little old lady in the UK, spent 23 years dismantling every brick and beam in her house and moving it 100 miles. She wanted to preserve it, and saw the need for this long before local council policy forced it upon her. If a little old lady,  so persistent for so long; can reach that goal – what’s stopping anyone else trying. She overcame bureaucrats, physical and mental barriers and eventually achieved it. The idea of 23 Things for learning about technology has become web2.0 educator folklore. Schools are in an age where pedagogy can be shifted in 23 minutes and this story reminds me that persistence is better than pessimism or prejudice. Good practice does not mean radical, fast change, it requires conservation of what is good about learning.

I showed the story to a friend who commented “she’s obviously mad and got way too much time on her hands”. It is just so easy to make judgments and determinations in less than 23 seconds, which have long term impacts on those we teach and the very place we call ‘work’. If we avoid risks, we may well miss opportunity. Just one tool presents multiple ways to learn in new ways. We have come a long way educational technology; but such a short way in educational reform. There is both apathy and passion in the idea of preserving formal education as a relevant, realistic experience for learners. The real question is, which parts are worth saving – given that we’re moving it brick by brick to a new location regardless of the ‘yeah buts’. If you  believe education is be changed by technology, you will find like-minded ‘owner builders’ and plenty of rich ideas in places such as Classroom 2.0. Being able to pull down your house and move it is harder than unlearning and relearning basic uses of ICT in the classroom, but ideologically is presented by some as just as formidable a challenge.

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