I have a nine year old son who attends public school in the "heart" of Silicon Valley. His learning has no technology infused into it. He repeatedly complains about how boring his classes are and has asked me over and over again, "Why can't my teachers use VoiceThread or podcasts like you do?" It breaks my heart. He sits with his photocopied homework sheets in front of him asking me, "What is THIS teaching me, mommy?" When he's done, he requests permission and then runs to the computer to read about the newest Bakugan news posted to blogs and shared through the YouTube community.
One day, he came home completely energized and ran over to share with me that his teacher had showed his class a video to teach them how to learn math. I said, "Wow, that's great." But then his head lowered and he said, "Yeah, but all 30 of us had to crowd around her little, tiny laptop screen to see it" (because his school's classrooms do not have LCD projectors to share digital content with students). (And, yes, the new class size in California is 30 students, thanks to our horrific rounds of state budget cuts to K-12 education.)
There are two critical issues that need to be identified here:
1) Teachers need to inspired, encouraged, motivated and supported to cultivate learning environments with digital technologies and
2) classrooms need to be equipped for 21st century learning (including appropriate firewall security to allow for global communications)
This video captures these messages beautifully. If you believe in the importance of this message, please copy the url of this video and forward it to your network to express your message. Thanks to Barry Brown for sending it to me!
I Need My Teachers to Learn 3.0
Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CIh7FWv4UA
I Need My Teachers To Learn was Written and Performed by Kevin Honeycutt and produced by Charlie Mahoney (who also played percussion, bass, and Piano). This has gone through many incarnations, but after hooking up some good mics and recording equipment, I think we have a keeper. This recording includes background vocals from the Turning Point Learning Center Choir, which is composed of our virtual and face-2-face students.