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2 Responses to links for 2008-07-06

  1. Kent Manning says:

    Hello Mr. Fryer,

    Let me start by saying I’m new to the Social Networking dialogue and only have just recently been following your blog and others like W.Richardson, D. Warlick, C.Fisher, D.Shareski, etc. I have learned a lot from all of you. My passion is Digital Storytelling and had the pleasure of attending one of Marco Torres’ day long sessions at NECC 2006 on the topic.

    A little bit of background. I’ve been teaching for 23 years and the last 10 have been specifically in Educational Technology here in Canada. We are a conservative lot here in Canada so perhaps what I am about to say may be taken as such.

    I respectfully suggest that you not send your 17 minute video to your board members the way you have described in this post. In my humble opinion/experience this type of communication [at least in our neck of the woods] is viewed as a desperate effort and would not be taken seriously. It may be said that desperate measures are needed to change the way technology is used in schools – perhaps.

    I really think there are better ways for you to get your message across. Perhaps you could network with your Principal, have her/him support you in speaking to your Curriculum Superintendent to get yourself on the next agenda to speak at an upcoming meeting of the board members – in person. This way, there is a deliberate process followed and you have “run it up the flagpole” of the appropriate staff members along the way and not just “jumped the line of command”.

    As much as you can give a disclaimer with regards to your views not being representative of your employer, the fact is, you are employed and your voice needs to be heard in the appropriate forum.

    In closing, I happen to agree with a good many of your comments in the video, but again, the video to the board members approach is at best, not the way to go.

    I hope others will chime in response to my comment here.

    Thank you,


    Kent Manning
    Small town – Canada

  2. Wesley Fryer says:

    Kent: I certainly appreciate your feedback and suggestions. I’ve met with campus principals and worked with classroom teachers in our school district with technology integration, and met individually with the technology director as well as staff members in the technology department. I have not contacted or met with members of the school board previously, so this will be my first attempt to do so. I think there is much more that I would like to express than I can adequately share in “just” a letter, but I am sending a letter to accompany these videos explaining my desire to visit with board members and engage in this dialog.

    I am using video to share this message not because I am “desperate,” but rather because I think it can provide a better way to communicate thoughts and ideas to my board members initially, in advance of a face to face meeting. I also sense the value in sharing ideas and advocacy tools publicly with others who are struggling with the same issues.

    Honestly I am not optimistic at all about this engagement process and the prospect of sharing this video with my school board members. I feel like I must make an attempt to engage with board members at a local level, however, because that has been and continues to be both my professional and personal passion. I realize this is a long conversation and a long process of change, and am more hopeful that our statewide oral history project (Celebrate Oklahoma Voices) has more potential to help open leaders’ eyes to the positive and constructive ways which technologies can be used to support learning. I am working on that front as well.

    I am going to make an appointment with our district’s curriculum director early this fall and pursue conversations at that level, but I know (based on my past two years of interactions here) that our school board is the primary source of fear and resistance when it comes to the uses of new media technologies by teachers and students. For this reason, I think a direct appeal and direct conversations with our school board members are essential if this agenda is to move forward in tangible ways at a local level.

    Maybe I am barking up the wrong tree here and wasting my time. I think it is worth a try, however, and am trying to do this in a tactful, respectful, and deliberate way.

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