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Looking at the World with Eyes Wide Open

I have no idea how to go back to normal. Let me rephrase that…I don’t want to.

I equate this feeling to many…many years ago after visiting New Tech High and learning about PBL.

…finding José Vilson, Melinda Anderson, Sabrina Stephens, Audrey Watters, Chris Lehmann, Diana Laufenberg, Zac Chase Xian Barrett

…people who have challenged me to not only talk but act…see what most don’t and use words to stimulate action

I thought that I was pretty “woke”, but I realized how much of the world that I have ignored and issues that I dealt with more passively than I should have.

It’s easy to stay out of union based conversations when I live in a state without such advocacy. Perhaps we should. More than that, being a part of the solution is necessary and to ignore that is to ignore what is real for those that are marginalized…including me.

It’s easy to turn the channel when traumatic events occur when it’s not your city, state, country, ethnic or religious affiliation. Being able to ignore atrocities of human kind is a privilege in and of itself…even for those less privileged.

I feel like I’ve read a book of many subjects and my brain in full. My heart is fuller.

My job is still related to instructional technology and professional learning and that means that the buzzwords and thinking that I despise are still very much a part of my work, but it doesn’t have to be to the extent that I was allowing it to be.

I don’t want to talk about which device is better than the other or if the wifi is fast enough when I have friends, real ones that I have met, who have access to neither. I imagine that educators in countries without the internet or electricity would be so happy for just a few seconds of a webpage and the fact that these issues exists in a world where we have glasses that display holographic video of a man on the moon is beyond my understanding.

Innovation isn’t whether or not we use technology. Innovation is how we solve problems in new ways. Sometimes this is through technology and sometimes it is not.

We have a new “thing” in makered but we haven’t yet figured out how to make the original “things”…art and play…a part of our everyday learning. Instead, we’re putting bandaids on our original “things” and finding new ways to have excuses not to do it…or do it but through the lens of standards only.

We also have to stop focusing on learning to code alone and instead learn to use the skills that computer science teaches to solve real problems…something that we haven’t done well within our systems.

…Problems that kids find by connecting with their local and global communities.

Also, there are outside systems that do challenge kids to solve real problems so perhaps we should engage those systems instead of using time as an excuse not to.

I am unapologetically different and will spend the next few months reading and listening because I know nothing and that is okay.

One can say that this change is because I am still in the TED bubble but to be honest, there are so many ideas and people that can’t be found on TED. They are in our communities, both online and physical. They are in the books on our shelves. They are our neighbors and sometimes within people who are without homes…those that we walk beside everyday, ignoring as secondary and less than human.

For real though, every person on earth should have access to shelter, water, energy, food and information. This is a human right.

Wait…innovation will be when this is fixed.

PS: If you are reading this post from an unfiltered open internet, consider yourself privileged.

Comments 3

  1. I always love reading your reflections on this world of teaching and learning, Rafranz. I am so appreciative of the fact that every day I can broaden my own understandings beyond my NH coastal town. And you’re right- the conversations don’t grow change within the details, they grow from the ideas and and questions and wonderings we explore together. I feel as though we can all learn together better if we share a common umbrella for the educational experience, and then use our experiences and questions to teach each other and serve as facilitators when possible along the way.

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      Author

      This is brilliant!

      “we can all learn together better if we share a common umbrella for the educational experience, and then use our experiences and questions to teach each other and serve as facilitators when possible along the way”

      I have no idea where this is going but if we want to see change happen, we must be a part of the solution…and do so collaboratively.

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