Monday, December 20, 2010

Money for an out-dated "schools" paradigm

Portland Public Schools is placing a $548 million bond measure on the May ballot. If approved by the voters, the money will be used largely for capital construction of new or expanded schools.

Question: Why would PPS want to spend a half billion dollars on bricks and mortar in this internet age? The money will simply be propping up an out-moded paradigm, one built on school-based education.

Certainly we can spend education money more wisely in today’s world.

Rows of desks, schedules of one-hour "modules," and long bus rides are at odds with the world students know and the nature of the times. Outside the school (and often in it), students are immersed in a private place defined by rapid-fire communication.

It’s haphazard “learning” through dizzying dexterity and hand-held computers.

Logically, education should tap into those communication devices and networks, which, like television before them, are the greatest teaching tools yet invented.

And yet, as it was for television, the question is what are those little “smart” devices teaching?

Right now, as far as needed education is concerned, not a lot.

What could they be teaching? It would take a lot less than $548 million to find out and get started restructuring education to fit the findings.

As for bricks-and-mortar schools, let’s make them into community learning centers. One of the “courses” would have the kids teach the rest of us how to use technology. We could teach them how to use it constructively.

Imagine the creativity that would be unleashed if we ended this now ever-growing technological generation gap.

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Blogger Joan said...

you ask who would we be without the christian message? I would be the same person you were associated with on the corner of Sunset & Capitol (until Nov. 2008) demonstrating for Peace on Fridays at 5:30 pm . I'm not one who takes to heart the christian message.

4:03 PM  

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