Kids will be kids

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.

4 thoughts on “Kids will be kids”

  1. I would say that entire approach is fundamentally flawed. It's a new world we need new ways of embracing it. If a child is engaging the world in a given way then have them translate it into a shared experience. Maybe we need to go where their attention is rather than trying to force them to put their attention where the book says they should put it. What if they know more than the books?

  2. Yes..well said…"if a child is engaging in the world in a given way"…but are they all engaging in the same way? Do you know what each one's cultural background is or are you enforcing your perspective of a new world on them based on the echo chamber that the web can become?

    We all know different things, which are not better or worse, superior or inferior. What kids know, what teachers and experts know, what books transmit just serve different purposes and needs. Kids of a certain age basically need attention being directed at them, on their specific needs, ideas and passions and these should be linked to content and perspectives which expand their exposure to the world and allows them to better understand how it functions and ticks + the rules that they should abide to become part of it or contest it. Instructional / educational technology or social interaction per se will not make attention or learning happen…

  3. School effectively prepares children for the meaningless automoton unthinking tasks that two-bit employers require to pump product before personality. I've taught inside prisons ( real ones )…….

    What matters most is in celebrating freedom…….creating choice……and informing students that they can become employers of others that harness the skills and talents of the person first…then product.

    Dont let the structure colonize you.


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