New resources and realities

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The animated image below is an example of an embedded image available from a site run by one of the members of an email list I subscribe to. The idea is that teachers could use this code when responding to student work online, and it is a great example of some positive thinking and affirmation.

The sharing of it is also wonderfully positive evidence of the willingness for collaboration within an online community which has, as the lifeblood of its collective humanity: the internet and connectivity. Did you know: that by the time children born this year are in their early years of school, computers will have outstripped the processing power of the human brain?

This is one of the many remarkable bits from the ‘Did you Know’ or ‘Shift Happens’ video on the last post in this blog. There is now a growing community of bloggers within educational leadership and this blog is now getting hits from the US and other countries across the world.

Here, within Australia, we need to continue to build our collaborative networks and continue to look outward at what the world is doing, while reflecting all the while on which of those things we value are likely to survive the journey into the future. There will no doubt be many. There will also be the chance to assess whether our pre-disposition, within education, to always ‘hang on’ to what we have, while adding more, is killing us.

Maybe it is time to let go and jettison some elements of content and practice which have been overtaken by new realities.

The challenge is to shift the common paradigm of what we mean by a school. Interestingly enough, there are several countries around the world who are taking clear steps in constructing fresh paradigms, while retaining some core elements. The rebuilding schools project in the UK, the rise of a range of alternative and online ‘school’ provisions online across the US, are but a couple of examples of a rapid convergence of vision and possibility: meeting needs.

When we shift our thinking to an acceptance of the ‘internet paradigm’, with its fundamental dichotomies between clear and common protocols and a virtual ‘anarchic’ domain for ideas and possibilities, then we start to see possibilities which go far beyond where we have been. Our task must be to create environments where we encourage and reward curiosity and facilitate the gaining of answers, and the design of solutions. We provide a connection between where we are and where those in the future may be. We must be willing to stand in awe and celebration, however, when those who traverse our bridge escape in a twinkle toward a vast horizon of possibility.

OK..and now we get to the end of the post and the embedded html code hasn’t worked to give us the animated image I imagined.  Well, that’s how it goes.  It doesn’t alter the reality that it can work, and will.


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