NOTE: a version of this post first appeared on an internal blog at our school as was inspired by a post by Jeff Utecht. This post is also cross-posted at Pockets of Change, a new blog that I co-author with my colleague Adrienne Michetti.
With all due respect to Gil Scot-Heron…
True revolutions are not created or planned. They are organic: they arise when the needs of the masses (students, teachers, and even administrators) outstrip what the dominant establishment (the monolithic entity of ‘Education’) is able to supply.
We are on the precipice of a revolution. There is a growing number of teachers who realize there is a better way. There is a change in the demographics of both teachers and administrators as innovators and early adopters of these new technologies take up positions of responsibility within schools. There are groups of students who are becoming more aware of the vast educational possibilities that collaborative technologies allow.
There are two ways for this revolution to be truly initiated: either a watershed event a la the Boston Tea Party, or through a methodical plan of actively searching out the agents of change, slowly proselytizing by example and converting whoever we can whenever we can. In either case, the goal is to create the critical mass necessary to evoke true reform and revolution in the sphere of education.
Once 50% +1 of a school or even a department are using collaborative technologies in a meaningful and productive way, can the remaining population afford not to? Once the teachers in these trailblazing departments or schools move on to their next destination, as is always the case in international schools, will they willingly go back to the way things were? These teachers then become the messengers of change as they enter their new schools, bringing with them their expertise and the power of their personal network.
This revolution will be a grass-roots, bottom-up shift from teachers who understand the power of Web 2.0. There should not, can not, and will not be shift in educational philosophy decreed by the powers. That’s not the way revolution works.
Photo Credit: localsurfer