An Ed-Tech Carol by Bob Sprankle
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December 31, 2008
The 20th Century was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. Yet the register of its demise was not recognized by all. Still... the 20th Century was as dead as a door-nail.
Mr. Snooze was to be visited by 3 ghosts: Education Past, Education Present and Education Future.
He was alerted to the event not through email, or a text message, or IM because Mr. Snooze didn't believe in any of those things. He was a luddite to the core who took immense pride in the fact that his high school English curriculum hadn't changed since he started his teaching career over 20 years ago and that his one and only computer in the back of the room hadn't been plugged in since the early 90s. No, the author informing him of the upcoming gathering had to do it the old-fashioned way ---with red pen and paper--- in order to gain the attention of Mr. Snooze.
The mysterious message read as follows:
j00 w1LL b v1s1t3d by 3 gh0stz wh0 w1LL r0x0r y0ur w0rLd. b pr3p4r3d 2 ch4ng3.
Mr. Snooze was ready to dismiss the message left on his desk as gibberish, but out habit assigned it to Stephen Myers, from 5th period, who was serving after school detention for having his cell phone ring during Mr. Snooze's lecture on Chapters XIII-XIV of the Scarlet Letter. The lecture had been going on for a full 45 minutes in such a monotone drone, that even the students who had bothered to read the SparkNotes the night before had lost interest and were thankful for the diversion that Myers' ringing cell provided.
Myers of course cracked the code within a minute, and explained to Mr. Snooze that it had been written in a language that many kids used in his online World of Warcraft Game. Mr. Snooze wasn't interested.
The message translated as follows:
You will be visited by 3 ghosts who will rock your world. be prepared to change.
Mr. Snooze found that a bit disconcerting because he didn't like change, but folded the paper up and put it in his pocket, only to be remembered later when the first 2 ghosts did in fact visit.
Unfortunately, the ghosts of Education Past and Education Present showed up at the exact same time to haunt Mr. Snooze and had little effect on him due to the remarkable similarities between them. Education Past and Education Present had more in common than out of common and any message of fear that they were intending to deliver was weakened by the redundancy. The two ghosts came to a common conclusion: that "black boards" and "white boards" were the only significant differences over the past 100 years in most classrooms. Mr. Snooze was far from being terrified. In fact, he found himself comforted by the congruence between the two specters, further confirming his belief that his tenure would be undisturbed by any forced "Web 2.0 Fad" being bandied about the school, and that his classroom would remain his own sacred sanctuary until retirement day.
It was the 3rd ghost that put the fear into Mr. Snooze. The Ghost of Education Future. The worst apparation of the three for Education Future was the most terrifying simply because it never showed up. Education Future was busy elsewhere ---India and China--- but did send along a video of a very frightening reality that made Mr. Snooze begin to reexamine his ways.
Happy New Year all! Make it truly NEW!