Thursday, August 19, 2010

Am I a Luddite? No

I love my i-phone as much as the next guy. I've been Tweeting all morning, haven't I? And here I am at 6 a.m., on a perfectly good Thursday morning, tied by a thousand threads to the blogging machine. I hope I'm still around in 2020 when I'm sure all kid's will have tracking devices sown into their clothes (skulls?) like the elementary school kids in Contra Costa.

So why am I so unimpressed with all the latest chatter about "innovation" by the education experts over at the National Journal? It's not that I don't find it interesting. I do (wonder why I'm not on the invited list?). I'm especially interested in the tepid responses to Arne Duncan's i3 innovation grants which basically poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the pockets of long-established Duncan favorites like KIPP (are time-outs "I am a miscreant" signs around kids' necks, really innovations?), TFA, and New Leaders.

The problem I have with the whole discussion is that innovation is equated only with technology (Tom VanderArk is even selling ipads). Missing is the total absence of words like, "equity," "democracy," and "community."

Case in point: the early small-schools movement was a real driver of ed-innovation. Why no mention? Same could be said of the Mississippi Freedom Schools of the early 60s. It seems the experts are looking up, not down, for innovation.

No, I'm not a Luddite. I just think that technology and democratic education have to develop in harmony for real innovation to take place.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, why haven't you (or I) been invited to the National Journal conversation? (Actually, not my main concern.) It is the elitist role of so-called democratic education advocates and/or the definition of "experts".

    Or, for that matter, why are not these folks in link below invited to this venue - who really have a conversation into this policy-blah-blah- add-tech-to make-us-relevant conversation: -

    Not that this is "the list' - where are the voices of those without a direct
    play to their bank account in education?

    If we are talking about innovation, it's not exactly a stellar list of innovators (or anyone who ever bootstrapped in any way) in the National Journal list and we know where everyone stands. Snore-bore. Ravitch and Russo are the rabble-rousers of late yet they too are in the edu-club - where are the other voices? - Russo lately has been cranky w/ group-think more than usual and has made him more of an interesting read, but the National Journal thing is one big press release over and over again. Then we have TVA who holds the strings and we all hold breath as to innovation

    This whole idea of "experts" is so over.


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