Thing 1: What to make of the two videos and article's executive summary

While I find the flashy movies about how learning must change and how the children of today are using technology for everything, inspiring...There is a missing piece I feel.

Desire to participate.

It's easy to throw numbers around. Infinity Ward/Activision's Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 video game has over 25 million unique multiplayer users worldwide ( Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling posting on Twitter ) because of end user's desire to be there. While I firmly believe that the use of technology is vitally important in reaching today's children and helping them achieve success in the 21st century (kind of ironic in a district that has slashed technology spending beyond the bone), there needs to be desire.

In young children, I work at the k-2 level, the primary desire seems to be simply "be the one who gets to touch/use the cool thing the teacher uses". That can be white board, dumb or smart, the computer, a pointer etc.

In older students desire can driven by peers, the impression that what they are participating in is something cool or new, because it's required. As far as k-12 education goes I think the latter would be the reason. That being the case then development rears it's ugly head.

Biology 101 the Video Game

If one wants to emulate the interactive game model or social networking model for using technology to reach students, there needs to be development of systems and course ware. If you want to create interactive course ware then you just became a software development company. It takes money to be interactive and it's going to be a tough sell in a culture that already looks down, publicly at least, on gaming.

In the distance learning model you also have the issue of intellectual security, that is; how do I know as an educator, that my student is the one actually taking the course, doing the homework etc. It could be mom or dad taking all the tests for all I know.

In Closing

These have the promise to be exciting times in education if they are allowed to be. Lets do what we can to spread it around.


  1. Great insight Skip! I agree with everything you said. I struggle with getting the message out to the public about how children learn today and the importance of preparing children for a technologically advanced present and future. Kids will tune out almost instantly if they are not engaged in their learning. A key component to this is the desire to learn.


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