We are snowed in here, unable to go anywhere, so I am reading my students blogs and watching their explorations in the Spanish language. My husband is wandering around the internet. He was googling his old high school and found this little gem…the 1970 Holy Family High School Xerox Club.
This is what student centered learning with technology looked like back then (and no, that is not my husband…I daresay he was already in college by the time this pic was snapped). Back then, students explored technology in schools, but only for the purpose of making sure it made it possible for the teachers to teach. Teaching was sacred (ha! pun!). Students were to be taught by teachers, and not the other way around.
Nowadays, as we consider flattening the hierarchies that have traditionally existed in the classroom, and as we aspire to letting go of the reins and letting our students make discoveries about the subjects we teach through their own use of technology (vs what we discover first, post to the CMS, and then make them re-discover…mouseclick by mouseclick…), we need to ask ourselves: are we ready to value them as equal partners in this wide open enterprise called learning…or are we secretly hoping they will just make the damn machines work like our 70s predecessors?