Monday, December 15, 2014

How Will I Make 2015 the Best Year for My Students? Empowerment or "Surveillance, Standardization, Assessment, Control"?

"Perhaps what we need to build are more compassionate spaces, so that education technology isn’t in the service of surveillance, standardization, assessment, control." -Audrey Watters

I originally wrote this quote down in a draft blog post a few days after I read the original post. I was not sure where I was going to go with it, or where it was going to take me. What I did know was that it stuck with me.

There was an uncomfortable truth.
After two plus years of working to get to a 1:1 environment for my students, something was wrong with the questions I was being asked about it. The headlines, questions and inquiries were not about what my students were now doing differently, what were they now creating, or who they were now able to learn from or share their learning with. The inquiries were about filters, permissions, acceptable use, monitoring, etc. all valuable things (I guess)...but hardly about learning.

So now as I am asked to answer "How Will I Make 2015 the Best Year for My Students?" and the quote has led to this post and my goal for 2015. I believe I can make 2015 the best year for my students by trying to meet the challenge posed by Ms. Watters. I will focus
on the hard work of insuring compassionate spaces over attempting to parlay technology purchases that promote "surveillance, standardization, assessment and control" in order to achieve allegedly "meaningful" technology usage. Because really, how meaningful, open and honest can the learning be if you create a culture says you need to be monitored (not trusted), processed (made to fit in) and measured (constantly judged) at all times?

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