This is a verbatim transcript of a conversation I had with my 7 year old daughter this evening. (No, I didn’t record this, I just remember these words because they are now etched into my brain.)
Dad: So, what was the best thing you did at school today?
Dad: How often do you have music?
Daughter: On Fridays.
Dad: What was fun about music today?
Daughter: We got to sing.
Dad: When do you go to computers at school?
Daughter: On Thursdays.
Dad: What do you do “in computers?”
Daughter: We take tests.
Dad: You take tests? Is that all?
Daughter: Yeah. When we were in 1st grade we got to play some math games though.
While I am advocating for creative and constructive uses of digital technologies in classrooms around our state and elsewhere, my own children continue to attend public school in a district which does not appear to have digital literacy or 21st century skills anywhere in the formal or informal curriculum, at least at the elementary level.
We have a long way to go. Conversations like this one today with my own children about their COMPLETE LACK of meaningful technology use at school don’t entirely break my heart, but they certainly beat against it soundly.
Should I remain silent about this? Will this post anger or embarrass some, who would rather just keep stories like this “quiet?” I don’t think silence has ever proven to be an effective catalyst for change.
My children have WONDERFUL teachers this year. They love their school. I know we’re fortunate in so many ways to be able to attend such an affluent school. I’m just frustrated, because most people’s expectations of “good school” experiences around us continue to be the same as they were in the 19th century.
I’m sure some classrooms in the 19th century were wonderful learning environments for children. Our classrooms here in Oklahoma are wonderful in many respects too. But it IS the 21st century. It’s 2008, in fact.
Hearing my own child after school say, “All we do in the computer lab is take tests” isn’t good enough. Not nearly good enough.
I told myself at the start of the year I need to meet with some of our local school board members. I need to see if I can address the board. I’m not hugely optimistic these conversations will make a difference, but wouldn’t I be a hypocrite if I don’t even try to speak to board members as a parent?
I haven’t done that yet. I haven’t made the time.
Maybe it is time to make some phone calls.
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On this day..
- Inspired by Innovative OKCPS Teachers and Students at Arthur Elementary School - 2018
- Using Google Reverse Image Search to Create a (late) Bibliography - 2016
- Podcasting Costs with Amazon S3 - 2016
- Show What You Know with Media (Feb 2015) - 2015
- Why Our Family Ditched AT&T and Joined T-Mobile: Huge Monthly Savings - 2014
- A Vision for Interactive Writing, Student Publishing, and Digital Portfolios in the Classroom - 2013
- Where to Start with Technology Integration in Oklahoma? - 2012
- We've Only Just Begun (to share our voices with media in Yukon Schools) - 2012
- Piano Scales? There's an App For That! - 2011
- Creative Commons and Flickr - 2010