This drawing, which I submitted to the Project Rooftop Blog's fan art friday post about Thor, represents some of my feelings about my students. I think that this drawing represents some of the energy that they bring into school each and every day. Also temperamentally I believe some of my children resemble little thunder gods in many ways! This is about the age of the students that I teach and I often wonder what their world will look like in the future. Say for instance five or ten years down the road. I would like to say that their rooms will be more futuristic and integrated with the newest technology. I-pad technology will be integrated with their learning experiences and they will be reading books on screens instead of in hard copy. Facts will become much less important as anyone with a smart phone can tell you the capitol of Zaire but the ability to discern between types and sources of information will become much more important. Research methods are going to become some of the preeminent school subjects. Information Architect will become a much more important occupation. Concepts and ideas rather than facts and memorization will be part of the brave new future of American Education. At least they will in the wealthier places.
I worry because they recession has hit the urban schools where I teach much harder than the suburban schools. The other day I was listening to a news story about a new bill extending free and reduced lunch benefits to more kids as there are many places where kids are going hungry because there isn't enough funding. This year we are worried about financial cliffs and Sequesters. This doesn't seem like the kind of environment where we are going to make major changes in the technological content of our classrooms. It seems like a lot of school districts are cutting in advance of future hardships rather than looking to invest in new technologies. I mostly worry about an ever increasing opportunity gap as students in wealthier schools get to learn new and useful technologies while the underserved deal with worse teachers, facilities and lack of equipment. That is the pessimistic side of me talking. I think things will be better down the road but we need to keep looking closely at the choices we are making day to day. I mean would you be able to tell this guy no?