As a teacher, I’m so very fortunate to work in a school district that supports creative technology integration in the classroom. The kind of technology that let my kids chat with Laurie Halse Anderson via Skype last week. The kind that lets them participate in Harvard University’s River City research project about how science-based virtual reality games can promote authentic scientific inquiry. It’s a school district that just gave me permission to visit other teachers’ classrooms from my desk during my lunch hour, to talk with their kids about my books and writing. I’m thankful for all of that.
I know not everyone is fortunate enough to have that kind of technology or the kind of leadership that recognizes how it can help kids explore and learn. Sometimes, there’s fear of what’s "out there." My own district has blocking software that used to filter out all of LiveJournal, but a discussion with our technology boss about the author blogs that my kids read and love prompted some tweaks to let your blogs through. I truly believe that teachers and administrators AND students need to have those kinds of talks. If you’re interested in how kids are taught in schools, you’ll want to check out this video of Peggy Sheehy’s student keynote for the Net Generation Project (thanks to coolcatteacher for the link!). It’s a wonderful way to begin the conversation.