Something befuddling and inspiring happened today at YSC Academy, and it sheds lights on the ecological point-of-view I have begun to adopt on the interconnection between people and communication, technology, and outreach.
When I arrived at “school” today ready to discuss my 8th graders’ English portfolios and writing assignments they had been assigned over the weekend, I was dismayed to discover they had not worked on them “all that much” because they “were not allowed.” Indeed, my knee-jerk reaction was to bring up they had had time before the weekend even began; of course, they could have spent the last twenty-fours prepping, drafting, putting to paper their ideas on their personal narratives. TIME was on their side. Nevertheless, I restrained myself, for this would not be a solution-based approach.
Pedagogy does not need another addition to the “time management” lesson. It is ingrained, embedded, often ignored, yet always reactive.
No, I found out from my soccer-scholars (I call them soccer-scholars because they attend a school attuned to the balance between athletic and academic achievement), that this weekend at the USA D-2 tryouts that their coaches/trainers set very strict rules regarding the use of technology. No technology without supervision. Technology is a distraction. Students need guidance.
I can picture the coaches coming at technology with multiple assumptions and beliefs, and their truth is as good as mine. In fact, I would agree with most of them. But I am beginning to wonder how I may harness their fears through communication, so in case my soccer-scholars do make the team, the coaches/trainers would be informed of the dynamo that is education and would feel more comfortable giving the onus of responsibility to the students. Then again, all this comes into question when we don’t actually know what the students are doing with their computers.
I know… why not just ask.
I am currently reading an excellent book. It makes me observe, question, and ponder the role that pace plays in education and technology. If we are to believe that information passes quickly and technology is a way of accelerating the pace of information, then it is only a matter of time before more and more classes begin to foster the use of the Internet as a tool, especially social networking.
To put this into context, however, I must devise a plan for the coaches/trainers to celebrate rather than punish the use of technology as a platform for learning. This plan focuses on the adaptive skills rather than the technical skills of particular individuals.
If in the world of soccer, preparation and performance are the processes and outcomes most focuses upon, then it is without question that reaching out to these coaches and trainers of USA D-2 about the dynamo of education will be a win-win. I must have faith.
I must have faith.
Never let explicit instruction get in the way of implicit understanding.