I’m excited to announce the latest book, scheduled to be released through Rowman & Littlefield Publishing sometime this summer. This book takes us further into the work for education transformation.
“Conscientious Engagement: Transferring Wisdom to Digital Generations”.
About the title:
The main title is a work in progress. Not sure if I like the word “conscientious”. Just sounds a little too young for me. Now, to be clear, the word means ‘intentional’, ‘focused’……’something done with purpose’. And that’s exactly what the book is about. So, conscientious is definitely a fitting word for the engagement defined in the book. But, last time I checked, I just didn’t seem young or cool enough to use such a young and cool word as a title. Still working on it.
The subtitle is set as far as I’m concerned. My hope is that the book could help generations of teachers, navigating through this digital world and facing change in their practice, to be encouraged that we now have an opportunity to be what we wanted to be when we wanted to be an educator.
While I would not think that anything I could say would be considered wise, I know that we have immeasurable wisdom deposited in the hearts and minds of educators everywhere and it’s important to spread that wisdom around. The digital generations, my grandchildren, are growing up in a world surrounded by technology that doesn’t slow down. Be wise, teachers, and share that wisdom in our classrooms.
While it’s always nice to sit on the back porch and rest, since the last book was just published in August, the work doesn’t stop. We are in an incredible period of change in education. And there are multitudes of voices out here. Some loud, some not so loud. A lot of talking.
I’m not the voice for anybody or anything. Anyone thinking that they know everything or own anything related to the transformation of education on a national scale isn’t listening. Because, if you listen, you hear so many voices. So much talking.
But that means there isn’t a lot of time to sit on the back porch. The reason? Simple.
As technology progressed from dial tones to digital tablets, we began to try to articulate for teachers how this technology, wireless and wonderful, could be used in our classrooms. And it’s catching on like a virus…..the good kind.
But, there’s an interesting idea that’s riding on this and we need to pay attention and get it right. That idea is that, in a transformed environment, blended with teachers and technology, the teacher is a facilitator. Nothing wrong with that. Unless we inaccurately define a facilitator.
My fear is that we may define “facilitator” incorrectly. We could end up with highly qualified, well trained, intelligent and passionate people in our classrooms with our students who are told, taught or trained that their primary responsibility is to make sure the computers are running and stay out of the way.
So often, we have been led to believe that a facilitator is just someone who keeps the trains running on time but doesn’t affect, influence or get in the way of learning. In other words, the technology and the kid can get it done without a teacher but we might as well use the teacher in some way. “Wait. I know. Let’s make them facilitators.”
Not saying that this is what’s happening everywhere, every time. But it could. In my work, I’m seeing a lot of misunderstanding about transformed learning systems. The way we educate our generations of students is changing and there are so many wonderful voices helping to get it done.
But let’s make sure we get it right. We cannot afford to relegate the most intelligent workforce of educators we’ve ever known to nothing more than highly educated monitors of computers and kids. Now is the time to make sure we educate our educators on the opportunity to do what they’ve always wanted to do. Change lives of kids. Change the life of every kid.
If we have to adopt the role of ‘facilitator’, fine. That being the case, I much prefer being a voice that helps define what that role is and should be. I don’t know any passionate teacher who wants to spend their days just walking around the room making sure the computers are behaving.
Though not 100%, the teachers I know are the most passionate, energetic and engaged people when it comes to making a difference in the lives of kids. And they’re wise.
And this isn’t reserved for any specific age group or generation of educators. Young and older generations of teachers, rookies and experienced veterans. They change lives. And in a transformed learning environment, they will be able to change more.
So, again, let’s get it right. Raising the visibility and utilization of technology doesn’t replace teachers. It repositions teachers in classrooms. And we need that wisdom of teachers to be engaged, purposely. Engagement with purpose for every kid.
Come to think of it…….maybe I do like the word “conscientious”.
Hopefully, we can better define the role of the teacher in the transformed system we are moving into as we continue in this change. If so, let’s be wise. Our digital generations need us to be wise. And we need to transfer that wisdom now more than ever.
Look for the book later this year.