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Repositories, Rubrics and Portals

2010 is unquestionably a time that has given me cause for reflection.

Who would have thought when we all embarked on this adventure that we would have achieved so much over two decades?...or maybe you’re thinking the opposite…why has it taken so long!

I agree with both thoughts; at times I’m almost overwhelmed when I look back over what has transpired over the past 20 years, at the scale and reach of what has evolved from those early, pioneering days of the early ‘90’s, while I’m also constantly challenging myself and others I work with and for, to do better.

In reality of course, it is not 20 years we are celebrating, but rather the vision, or rather sketch, of Papert and Kay from 1968 which was of course, the very first seed any of us had of the possibility that our generation might possess the potential to genuinely revolutionize the place, time, nature and form of learning that young people could experience through access to their own personal portable computer.

At that time I was ironically cutting Cobol code on an NCR Century mainframe, dreading its inhumanity, and oblivious to the seed of an idea that has inspired millions since. I reflect on the so many who have been a part of the journey; individual leaders from across education and beyond, inspired students, but most notably those truly visionary early adopting grade teachers, whose foresight and courage to push the boundaries of what this might make possible truly set a path for others to follow.

…and yet at times I lament our lapses, in the distractions of so much trivial emerging technology, of language around powerful notions such as transformation, which quickly become appropriated by those at the fringes of incrementalism, and of concepts such as repositories, rubrics and portals, which are in reality too often simply pompous titles to tired old ideas camouflaged to disguise their subversive conservatism. We can do so much better than that..but more about that next time.

If you’ve been part of that journey of the past twenty years, take time out to celebrate what you’ve been part of achieving. This is not once in a decade or generation stuff, this is far more than that. This is really about true believers; this is about people who cared enough about what they could and should do for all young people’s education that they sweated, and risked and argued and collaborated in extraordinary ways; they broke the rules about what was possible, they swam against the tide…and in the end they have won.

I’ve always believed we don’t celebrate enough about what we achieve in education, and in doing so, we too often fail to acknowledge progress, spirit and valor. Well I’ll save you any thought of caution; to all of you who have made this possible for so many young people around the world, I raise my glass to you...oh, but btw, don’t stop now, the fun’s only just begun!

As always, I’m very interested in your thoughts…
March 23rd, 2010 @ 2:28PM | 1 Comments | Post a Comment