Last January, my 5th blogging anniversary and the end of the sabbatical year went by without pomp or circumstance : 3 posts, sparse tweets, bookmarks and Flickr photos. Although triggered or lead by digital events and networked conversations, most of the contacts were this time f2f- a noisier, tastier and more touchy-feely complement to the screen: Campus Party, informal meetings, drinks and barbecues.
Going back to school in February just confirmed once again that change just does not seem to happen in closed environments. Same conversations in the teachers’ room, same unsolved problems from 25 years ago and endless meetings, during which there is more red tape than a decision to act.
School more than ever feels like prison with its tight unvarying schedule, routine and very little room for emergence, creativity and “organized chaos”. Focus is on discipline and control so students’ inventiveness and ingenuity are proven by subverting it. Teachers drone, kids get bored by looking at the nape of the same neck for hours and cannot sit still. With instructional technology alone, the difficulty in staying on task – they connect to social sites, message their friends, play games. Same problems as ages ago, just “enhanced” by educational technology. Kids will be kids.
In March, visits, new acquaintances, conversations, exchanging ideas and practices in different areas and levels: Lumiar school, Papagallis, The Hub, VivoEduca and some fun creative play online with Inkscape in a remix challenge.