Stand outside any U.S. high school at dismissal time and face the doors. As you watch the students file out, you will see them pull out all sorts of devices—most of them banned in school— and get on with the way they live their lives, often viewing school as nothing more than a necessary evil in an otherwise modern life. For most students, the tools and talents they employ outside of school have little place in their academic classes.
For many students, the world of textbooks and lectures and worksheets cannot hold a candle to Facebook, text messages, and YouTube. Technology-assisted social networking is part of their lives, but because schools have not embraced technological change in meaningful ways, most students do not consider how the modern tools can transform the way they think of themselves as students and scholars.
Moreover—and perhaps most damning—by blocking and banning many of the tools and Web sites that form the cornerstone of teenagers’ experiences, educators deny themselves access to the conversations that students are having about how to use these tools intelligently, ethically, and well. And given the overwhelming flow of information that students can access using such tools, it is essential that educators become part of those conversations.
Chris Lehmann, Shifting Ground
. National Association of Secondary School Principals (Dec. 2009)
So begins Lehmann's article. I recommend it to you all. It is worth reading and ought to be shared widely. I am concerned about the increasing disconnection between the way young people learn today and the way we feel safe teaching them. We have simply got to shift ground.