High-Five everyone.

Like an 80s glam-rock band signing “we’re not going to take it”, Twitter supports fantastic grandiosity, craving for attention, lack of empathy and inherent social blather. To Sir with Love, Good Will Hunting, Mr Holland’s Opus, Heathers, The Breakfast Club … omg, how school sucked and how we’re going to change it by Tweeting our ass off and forming a network of like-minded hash-heads. It’s the biggest game-show in the world right now – brought to you by “integrating ICT”.

“Integrating ICT” is a distal idea marketed to schools for decades. It requires teacher co-operation to function (that’s why they talk to you about it).  Of itself, technology is empty, so we need teachers to believe in the meanings presented to them. “Integrating ICT” has proven most useful as funding-rationale to hands down millions of dollars to the same few, regardless of their performance. It has created a digital bird table. The seagulls swoop each time the finances are replenished – As we’re not going to run out for teachers any time soon (most teachers are yet to go to any ICT-teaching conference) the message, modality  need not change. But to be fair, some do update their powerpoint every year or so, though I suspect many can’t advance a slide without help and certainly can’t tell the you the difference between bluetooth and wifi. But that doesn’t matter – that’s not the message.

I don’t want my kids in some Anglo-American social-experiment IN school. I want teachers to do their job, as well as they can within the freedoms they have as professionals. Parents are not stupid – we know schools are not perfect as we actually live in the real-local community. I certainly don’t want them being experimented on as a result of listening to the shtick of people who a) have no qualification in adult education and b) do nothing for kids directly unless they are paid and kids are furnished to their creepy tree-houses. It freaks me out how often kids are wheeled into a room so Dr. Obvious can bedazzle us (and of late auto-tweet the experience, which is just plain creepy). It’s not an outstanding use of time or school funding! High five!  got a photo with Dr. Predictable today, it’s on 6 networks already! … I have a photo with Pluto – it doesn’t make me Walt Disney or more likely to learn to draw.

It’s easy to sing along with the champagne supernova chorus. There are no honour points for defeating low-level enemies in Warcraft, but EdTech needs to keep the visible meme going and aggregate the work of others – high five! you made a wiki, high-five! you managed to install WordPress, high-five! you’ve used an iPad app. Without this, we lose attention, they lose revenue and risks the alternate reality bubble bursting. MOST KIDS, despite millions of dollars and a gazillion high fives are learning less and suffering more metal heath, social inclusion, privacy and bullying issues that ever before. Hello? anyone listening?

Please log-off from your in-drama virtual-reality headset for a moment …

Volunteering does not only contribute a positive impact to the volunteer herself but also to the community, to the country and the world as a whole. “When kids volunteer, it tells others that they don’t have to be perfect or famous or even grown up to make a difference.” Kalynn Dobos, age 7

I have more respect for ordinary parents who run soccer clubs, scouts and surf-clubs than I do social-media vampires and their subbies these days. Improve school by all means, but it would not hurt if every once in a while joined us in reality – the place where no one will fund you, no one will pay you, and kids will only come if you have something worth engaging with – and those kids will be so amazing, brittle and imaginative you better respect every second they give you.

Of course you can avoid this completely and dismiss it as a rant – no need to volunteer – when you can just high-five! someone who’s Googled the common knowledge huh?

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2 thoughts on “High-Five everyone.

  1. It would be kinda ironic if I tweeted out this post then. You could classify this post as a rant but your rants make much more sense than most of the posturing that feeds its way through my Google Reader and Twitter stream. Your words make me glad that I’m still feeling my way in a real school with real kids, trying to work out what is worth doing and helping grassroots teachers with their day to day issues of forgotten passwords, malfunctioning wireless keyboards, inquiry learning – and working first hand with kids who need guidance in digital literacies, filtering of media biases and so on. And I even have a go at the ordinary parent thing as well – I certainly hope that reality is where I spend most of my time.
    As per usual, whenever I respond to something of yours that rings true to me, hope this comment makes some sort of sense to you.

  2. This makes great sense given that we tend to get carried away by the rising din on ‘disruptive technologies’. But then you say “I certainly don’t want them being experimented on as a result of listening to the shtick of people who a) have no qualification in adult education” . Are you sure adult education qualification is an absolute must?

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