"Bring on the Learning Revolution" A Reflection on What it Takes to Rise to the Occasion!

What I LOVE about this video, is the call to ACTION for educators to unite toward a greater common goal of "Revolutionizing" the Educational System itself! In this Ted Talk, Sir Ken Robinson explains that we are currently experiencing "a fundamental crisis" because "we make very poor use of our talents!" He challenges us to think about what our true talents actually are, and to put those to good use both personally and professionally!

Professional "Ah-Ha" Moments:

  • "Innovation is hard because it means doing something NOT easy!"
  • "Reform: Improving a broken model? We don't need evolution, we need REVOLUTION!"
  • "Teenagers do not wear wrist watches- watches are a single function device!"
  • To be innovative, one must charge ahead and forge new paths! Will there be mistakes? Absolutely! Will there be failures? Absolutely! Perhaps... just perhaps, the payoff in the end will be worth it! Consider several of the most historically relevant innovative inventions: the printing press, the factory assembly line, paper currency, electricity, magnifying lenses, antibiotics, telegraph, telephone, cell phone, iPad....and so on! Some of these were even created BECAUSE of a mistake (penicillin for example). I believe that those who innovatively are attempting to invent something new are NOT doing so because they want to maintain the "status quo!" They are NOT doing so because it is EASY! They are doing so to revolutionize what once was!
  • Please reflect on this quote! If you are using a model that has proven itself completely broken, perhaps it is best to choose a new model! Instead of fixing something that was a disaster in the first place, use that energy to create a new and more successful journey following a new path! Like Ken suggests, sometimes "we don't need evolution, we need REVOLUTION!" Some things are worth fixing, and others are not. Choose what you spend your time "evolving" wisely!
  • Laugh we may, but this quote is entirely true! Think about it! No one wants a single function device anymore! We now have the power to purchase phones and tablets that can replace several devices in one swipe! For me, purchasing a Smart Phone eliminated the need to replace my digital camera, digital video camera, digital audio recording device, GPS system, MP3 player, note-taking gadgets, and MUCH more! Devices have been revolutionized to embrace a multi-function mindset!
  • Think about how many educational programs we need to eliminate that are "single function software programs!" Oh my! In education, this list could go on and on, forever! Hence, my district's full adoption of Google Apps for Education! No longer do we depend on a "software" that lives on a computer! The web is our canvas, and every day I wonder where it will take us next!
  • The time has come for a philosophical shift in educational technology! Never have I been more proud to say that I work for a district that supports the roll-out of Chromebooks! The "Chromebook takeover" is sweeping the nation, because people are finally realizing that it's NOT about the device! It's about what we DO with the device! It's not about the software, it's about the process of how we create, produce, publish, collaborate and communicate with each other and with our students! The time is here and now...the players are you...and the ball field that used to be contained within 4 walls has now been dramatically widened!
  • A fellow colleague of mine (Amy Heavin: Principal at Ryan Park Elementary), recently wrote a blog post entitled, "Technology is NOT an Add-On!" She challenges us to think about "WHY" we use the devices we have, rather than thinking about the actual devices themselves! She focuses on the importance of pedagogy, 21st Century Skills, and the "Why" behind the way we deliver curriculum and instruction!

NO matter what, I professionally and personally challenge you to focus on the following:

  1. Using your talents and passions to drive your life journey!
  2. Challenging limits and boundaries with innovative ideas!
  3. Spending your efforts and time wisely: Choose the battles that are worth fighting, and walk away from the others!
  4. Finding resources that give you multi-functionality and also the ability to become more efficient and effective at what you are already doing!
  5. Working with others to "rise to the occasion" in this educational journey!

I will conclude this blog post with one of my favorite quotes from the above video: "It's about passion and what excites our spirit and our energy! If you love it...an hour feels like 5 minutes! If you hate it, 5 minutes feels like an hour!" Let your passion guide what you do!

cross-posted at cliffordtechnologycoach.blogspot.com

Kelly Clifford is the Technology Coordinator for Metropolitan School District of Steuben County, Indiana. Read more at her blog cliffordtechnologycoach.blogspot.com