Saturday, September 24, 2011

Teachers Make the Difference, Not NCLB

"There will be a special memorial service for the departed friend of all public educators throughout the US. Our good friend and motivation for all we are struggling with in the schools of this country has been laid to rest. Rest in peace "No Child Left Behind". We owe so much to you.

  1. Learning standards
  2. core curriculum standards
  3. assessments, assessments and more assessments
  4. teacher and principal evaluation systems
  5. the drain on educational creativity
  6. and the derailment of true 21 st Century education
  7. and the angst, anguish and anxiety of children that must take these tests to prove something
NCLB is survived by three presidents, four secretaries of education, and a host of corporations that made their business fortunes in developing tests, psychometrics,consultants, workshops, and a slew of testing manuals that are too numerous to mention here. The big business of waging war on a mythical gap of achievement that NCLB was supposed to address was quite profitable for many people, including our political leaders, and corporate stockholders. But, the more aggrieved parties are the thousands of children that were victimized by this penchance to be tested and to perform to an arbitrary standard.

Unfortunately, the legacy of NCLB will be with us for many years, and on Friday, 9/23/2011 the real issue at the center of its existence was the lack of money. President Obama has discovered it cannot be managed in the same manner that it was originally conceived. For the states to take ownership of any accountability system is the best news to come out of Washington in many years. But, what will be the assurance that they can manage it any better.

In reality, the true learning accountability system that will make a difference in closing gaps, differences or needs will be the system that revolves around the teacher and student, not a bureaucracy. Only a classroom teacher can make the difference and create a truly unique learning environment that will emphasize qualitative and quantitative accountability. Where children will feel respected and able to learn on their terms and when they are ready, not because the State has willed it to happen at some arbitrary time.

Here's hoping that our political leaders will focus on something they can make a difference with, such as the economy and world peace, and leave education to the people that are trained to manage and perform in it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Another Global List...

Today's NYTimes has formally announced that the US is definitely in crisis, once again. Another global assessment of needs and speed has been conducted and it is now confirmed that the US has the slowest Internet speed in the world.

"Internet speeds in the United States have long trailed those in other countries like South Korea. Downloading videos, games and other big files often takes far longer for Americans than their counterparts across the globe.
In the latest global rankings, the United States remained a slow-poke, placing No. 26 in terms of speediest Internet connections, according to Pando Networks, a company whose software is used for sharing large files. South Korea led the list followed by Romania and Bulgaria."(1.)
What is the country to do? The list of nations with faster baud-rates for Internet delivery reads like the list from the 2008 TIMMS assessment showing how the smaller countries are outdoing the US. The country went into lockdown mode, remember?

We became a "Nation at Risk". Learning standards were the cry of the day, followed by a swoon of wailing and moaning for more tests to assess the begeebies out of anything that smiles, breathes, or quirks in our schools. It was a national calamity that a list like that was made public. Three presidential initiatives were created to move the US closer to the top. The nation then began calling for charter schools as the only way to bridge the "gap".

And the turmoil continued into the common core standards, more assessments, and currently, teacher and administrator evaluation tied to student test performance. Boy, have we improved things!

And today, while observing our high school faculty working with our students I witnessed a wonderful interaction by a social studies teacher and his class discussing the real motivation behind the American Revolution. The Socratic style of the teacher created a classroom of expectation and participation. Students were engaged discussing the application of concepts and the synthesis of those ideas with the current events in Libya, Syria and Egypt. Relevance or boring?

The QuickDraw McGraw testing company will not be able to create an assessment to capture the creativity of that teacher or that class. The College Board does not have a question like that on the SAT's, do they?
But, that has become the yardstick we will determine how to get to the top of that proverbial "list".

Back to the slowest Internet speed in the planet. It explains much about how long it takes for my data and downloads to filter down. Do you think the Governor of NYS will launch into a political crisis to improve the Internet speed of the state so that two things will improve: the US will go higher up on the list and he will improve his chances to bully his way to national office?

I can hear Congress now, NO INTERNET LEFT BEHIND will become the new mantra to save our download speeds.

The list of the fastest download speeds by country:
1) South Korea
2) Romania
3) Bulgaria
4) Lithuania
5) Latvia
6) Japan
7) Sweden
8) Ukraine
9) Denmark
10) Hong Kong
11) Netherlands
12) Finland
13) Moldova
14) Taiwan
15) Norway
16) Russian Federation
17) Iceland
18) Aland Islands
19) Belgium
20) Slovenia
21) Switzerland
22) Germany
23) Congo
24) Czech Republic
25) Hungary
26) United States

1. Kopytoff, V.G. 2011. America: Land of the Slow. The New York Times, [online] 20 September. Available at: <> [Accessed 20 September 2011].

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

QR Codes and Does eat Codes and Li'l Lambs eat Ivy

I have this great fascination with gadgets. My iPhone comes with a complete set of apps for me to occupy my time whenever I get bored. Using a scanning app in a store, I can scout for prices on items and log online to find if there is a better deal somewhere else. I have scanned all sorts of data icons but my favorite is this one:
I love QR Codes.  They speak to me as if they were inkblots appealing to my psyche. To me they represent a wrapped present with some goody for me to see once I decode the black and white decoration. There is a secret behind this thing that can be found everywhere from grocery stores, clothing stores, libraries and even churches. The QR Code has become the symbol of 21st Century iconography.
So, what is a QR Code, and why should 21st Century School Leaders be interested in them?
According to Wikipedia, “ a QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) first designed for the automotive industry. More recently, the system has become popular outside of industry due to its fast readability and comparatively large storage capacity. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be made up of any kind of data (e.g. binary, alphanumeric, or Kanji symbols).[1]
There are a variety of smartphone apps that can read these codes very fast and easy. In fact ATT makes an app specific for my iPhone called the ATT Scanner. (I use it often to amuse myself in Kohls’ while my wife is shopping. That place is loaded with QR Codes!!). It doesn’t take any extraordinary power to use a tool of this nature. Just point, scan and voila the information is retrieved.
In classrooms there are many things that can be done with QR Codes. For a great Powerpoint on the topic check out this link to “40 Interesting Ways to Use QR Codes in Classrooms”
QR Codes can be used to summarize information for student exhibits, advertising school events, multiple choice tests, and ways to scavenger hunt inquiry learning actively having students scan for information in more global contexts. The technology is easy to use, can be found on most smartphones that kids are carrying around already, and it will give them another motivating tool to view the world.
There is an excellent LiveBinder file by Steven Anderson, District Technology Director from Winston-Salem North Carolina that encourage you to review if you would like to learn more about this great learning tool

[1] QR Code. Wikipedia.  Retrieved September 14, 2011 at

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

iPad, uPad, wePad, we allPad

Most of the educational technology articles out this week are how schools across the country are giving iPads or similar tablet devices to students, as they begin their school year. Think about how far we have all come with this idea.
A portable tablet device, such as an iPad, provides access to limitless print resources, textbooks, and other applications that can enhance a student’s educational experience. In an article by Stephanie Reitz of the AP, she outlines the many school districts that have actively engaged this resource in the classroom.
“While iPads have rocketed to popularity on many college campuses since Apple Inc. introduced the device in spring 2010, many public secondary schools this fall will move away from textbooks in favor of the lightweight tablet computers.
Apple officials say they know of more than 600 districts that have launched what are called "one-to-one" programs, in which at least one classroom of students is getting iPads for each student to use throughout the school day.[1]
The textbook issue is a keen example of immediate cost savings to a school district. The voluminous textbooks used for science, social studies, math, and other mainstay core programs tend to weight kids down. Plus, I would not be surprised to find out that students are not reading them the way their teachers think they are. The availability of text based resources also adds a great degree of fluidity as knowledge expands and contextually changes from moment to moment. Textbooks are frozen tomes in time, and take up much room when needing to be stored. Students enjoy the ability to read their textbooks as an app on a tablet. It makes it interesting and more manageable.
Margo Pierce of the T.H.E. Journal writes that the multimodal appeal of the tablet makes it an ideal tool for students to connect with. She quotes a principal of a school using the resources:
“If you get kids engaged in learning, you’ve taken away half the battle. When you get them engaged, you get them focused on what they need to do and you get them interested in learning. And if it’s using an iPad, we’ll use whatever we need to get kids learning. Once we got going and the kids started messing around, then it was just like wildfire.”[2]
Here is hoping that the engagement we seek with students will be productive and constructive in enhancing educational needs for our students.

[1] Reitz, S. (September 3, 2011). Many US schools adding iPads, trimming textbooks. Retrieved September 5, 2011 at

[2] Pierce, M. (September 6, 2011). iPads make better readers, writers. T.H.E. Journal. Retrieved September 7, 2011 at

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

NASCAR and the Superintendency

The following is my opening day speech to the faculty and staff of the Bethlehem Central School District. My comments were preceded by a thrilling video clip of Rascal Flatts rendition of Life is a Highway.

September 6, 2011

On behalf of the Board of Education, and the community of this school district, welcome back to what we hope will be another exciting school year at BC.
I hope you all had an opportunity to see those wonderful cartoons before we began this morning. They were created by two wonderful BC art students. Please give it up for seniors Leticia Monroe and Nathaniel Edgar.
For those of you joining us for the first time, and we will be meeting you in a few minutes, welcome as you join our ranks to be part of a truly outstanding learning community…the Bethlehem Central School District.
I love NASCAR. There is something thrilling about watching stock cars going 120 miles an hour, three wide on a 31 degree angled bank at Daytona or Talladega speedways; feeling the excitement of high performance stock car racing!
But, while I love NASCAR for the speed and the individual accomplishments of the drivers, I also love it because I believe NASCAR racing is the ultimate team sport.
It involves many people in the pursuit of winning the race.
From those people that design and build the car, the manufacturer of the parts and materials, the pit crew of 12 people the mechanics, body shop specialists.
Then there is the crew chief that oversees the pit crew and tracks conditions and advises the driver of how to manage the other cars and the track;
Then ultimately the driver, who has to sit in an uncomfortable car for up to four hours driving on an oval shaped track going 120-180 miles per hour.
So, here we are, Opening Day 2011. The Federal government has approached the abyss of total financial collapse,
• the stock market crashed again, the second time in three years,
• President Obama and Speaker Boehner don't know how to play in the sandbox very well;
• the state has passed a new teacher-principal evaluation system which we are expected to implement this year;
• the Governor has gotten his way and we now have a property tax cap;
• we have record reductions in school spending,
• we're facing new standards, heightened pressure on testing, heated rhetoric from political leaders;
• we've experienced an earthquake, a hurricane and a tornado in one week;

and I'm talking about my love of NASCAR, showing Rascal Flats movie clips, describing the contours of the track at Talladega. Things that have nothing to do with education.
Or do they?
That song we opened with resonates with me as both a NASCAR fanatic and a school superintendent. "Life's like a road that you travel on. There's one day here and the next day gone. Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand. Sometimes you turn your back to the wind."
Oh yes I am about to make an analogy about each school year being a highway. People that don't understand NASCAR comment that it's a boring thing watching cars going round and round in circles. But to the trained spectator, it is a sport that involves different things happening to each driver, on each lap, as each turn has a new challenge, a new competitor that is blocking or pushing or hedging their position to earn more points or even the race.
Like a race in NASCAR, each school year is a journey we maneuver through from September to June.
It's a repetitive cycle of the same seasons, holidays, faculty meetings, department meetings, safety meetings, Board of Education meetings, bus routing procedures, budget meetings, budget votes, community forums, lunch menus, report cards, conferences, assessments, exams, field trips, floors and rooms to be cleaned, and children to be taught, all year long, each and every year.
For some of us that have been working in schools for many years, it tends to be quite repetitive. (I just realized that I am beginning my 37th and final year as an educator, and since I started in kindergarten in 1958, this is my 53rd and final year in school! Talk about being retained too often!)
But, like each lap in a NASCAR race, to the trained eye each school year tends to be different from the others, despite the same calendar of events and activities. Depending on what the situations are, the climate of the community and the economic issues that are prevalent that year, the journey on the highway we call the school year will be unique and different.
So as a primer to your start of the new school year, allow me to give you some NASCAR advice to navigate with.
Andrew Cohen once said that when you are in the driver's seat you control your life and your destiny.
1) In NASCAR, the driver makes the decisions.
In schools, we are all responsible for the decisions we make; those that determine how our school year will be unique and different, and what we will be proud of at the end of the year, the end of the race.
As Stephen Covey reminds us, we are all responsible for the weather we bring into our lives. We can either be fearful of what the future school year will bring, or we can be part of an optimistic future with great experiences for ourselves and our students.
The choice is yours. You are the driver that will make the decisions to create a positive and exciting school year.
The challenge of the highway or the school year is to manage things with an open mind, and to be flexible enough to bend with the momentum of change, whether it's coming from the State of New York, the Federal Government, or a new school superintendent.
There are times when the events and dynamics of the school year tend to leave us worried about the future. But, as we know, the events are not what are scaring us, it’s how we react to those events that threatens our outlook and future success.
Take the State Education Department and their desire to test the "begeebies" out of anything that moves, crawls, breathes or smiles.
If we apply the logic of education scholar Diane Ravitch, you will note she has a NASCAR mentality when she states “Test scores … are not the purpose of education. They are a thermometer”…like the one on your car's water pump.
Of the many stories that came out of NASA's Apollo space program, one of my favorites is the story about the custodian who upon being asked by a reporter what his job was in the organization replied, "I'm helping to put a man on the Moon."
Everyone involved in that project, regardless of how large or visible their contribution was all felt a genuine and direct connection between the work they did and that moment when Neil Armstrong took that first step on the Moon.
2) In NASCAR it's how we take the initiative that determines the outcome of the race.
Waiting for other people to do the work will not make your school year interesting or easier.
Consider that we have one of the best School Transportation Departments in the State of New York. The leadership of this department each and every year has been astounding and was recognized this past summer.
Our Director of Transportation, is directly responsible for this work and he was recognized on July 17 by receiving the Art Shocky Award from the New York Association for Pupil Transportation as NYS Director of the Year.
He did not need to be told how to do his job, he demonstrated initiative over the past eleven years in creating a strong, stable organization that learns from their decision-making, and their mistakes .
How about the drive and determination that some people show in their personal well-being?
How about (MS Health Teacher) who successfully completed the "Iron Man Competition" in Lake Placid on the weekend of July 24 by completing over 140 miles in 11 hours. That included riding a bike for over 100 miles, swimming 3 miles and running a marathon. 
We have had many staff members heroically struggle with illness in recent years. Two people in particular have been models for me. Despite their illnesses, they were always focused on getting back to BC and their students, and exercising the supreme initiative to carry on and live their lives.  (HS Biology Teacher) and  (Elementary Reading Teacher); I am thrilled they are here today with us.
<Principal> came to BC to assume the post of science supervisor and in the few years he was in that position he made an impact on all of us as a leader, and a person that places students first in providing a quality education. Here is a person that exercises initiative; subject supervisor, teacher, administrator, community member, green team leader, community foundation chairperson, and now MS Principal. 
And there are many more stories of individuals in this community that go the extra demonstrating initiative to make things happen for the students of this district.
Consider all the things that happened last year that were wonderful and outstanding achievements for the school district. Things that all of you and your predecessors achieved by demonstrating your professional initiative.
1) #1 ranking in the Capital Region Business Review
2) 94% graduation rate, past three years
3) Student accomplishments in art, music, academic competitions and athletics that are too numerous to list
4) The generosity of the BC community that is too extensive to attempt to summarize: It included raising money, supplies, equipment, donations and awareness for: earthquake relief in Japan; children at the Unity House in Troy; Albany's Damien Center; service members stationed abroad and at home; local homeless shelters; the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society; "Pennies for Peace"; the local Ronald McDonald House; Coats for Kids; the Make-A-Wish Foundation; the Boys and Girls Club of Albany; Bells of Life program; the American Red Cross; the American Heart Association; Adopt-A-Family; and so many others.
5) 2/3 Passing Rate on the budget - one of the best in the Capital Region for two years in a row and a great sign of community support.
Also, consider the things that were challenging and hard to do, but needed for success on the journey. We call these the speed bumps in the road:
1) Employee salary freeze
2) Approving a new BCUEA contract
3) Accepting the State Aid problems
4) Voting on a reduced educational budget
And, also consider the tough moments or potholes in the journey that caused us concern, frustration, heart ache:
1) Losing a beloved elementary principal
2) Closing a wonderful elementary school.
3) Unfortunate attacks on public education
4) Retirement of faithful veteran employees of the district
But, in each of those circumstances we found a way to resolve the situation.
1) Replacement principal one of the unsung heroes last year at Clarksville, who with her quiet and supportive personality brought the Clarksville school community through traumatic and difficult situations in the course of 10 months.
2) Everyone that rose to the challenge of supporting, nurturing and transitioning the Clarksville children and their families to Eagle and Slingerlands. People like the Clarksville faculty and staff,  and the faculty and staffs at Eagle and Slingerlands.
3) To our BOE that had one of the toughest school years in recent memories, and had endured constant attacks, criticism and verbal abuse. But they continued to be responsive and transparent addressing all of the challenges in a constructive manner.
4) Bringing new and inspiring people into our school district.
These are the examples of the highs and lows of the journey, the highway or the race track of the school year that we encountered last year, and we dealt with by demonstrating our collective initiative. The challenge is to keep our eyes on the prize, not to be deterred from the seriousness of our mission, and the excellence we are capable of, even when some days look like this:
3) In NASCAR, when things go wrong, you have to deal with it and keep moving.
A good NASCAR driver picks himself up and tries again. Nothing is more important than to finish the race. In our schools we all know what that feels like, regardless of what the State Education Department says.
Randy Turner, an English teacher from California wrote a compelling article for the Huffington Post in April, and basically he claims that all teachers are failures:
"If we (as teachers) were doing our job, somewhere along the line we would have taught the politicians who are systematically destroying public education, … something about decency, respect, civility and developing the moral fortitude to resist the …song of the special interests."
As your superintendent, I have been affected by the actions, comments and "knee-jerk" decisions of some of these politicians. From Governor Cuomo's "perspective" on the superintendents of NYS, to the actions of our legislative leaders that, when it comes to education, can be hasty and misguided.
Amid all of this rhetoric, the challenges and pressures put on all of us from the outside, we have to remain focused on what matters most - the race that we are running.
5) And finally, in NASCAR no matter what happens keep your eye on the prize, even if you’re in last place...The prize is to win the race.
What are the goals of our race in the schools? To protect, safeguard and ensure the highest quality of educational services and programs for the children of this school district, and to ensure that they all achieve and are successful. That’s the expectation of the taxpayers of this district, and it’s also the mandate of our professional careers. I am confident that each and every one of you will continue to do just that.
So, this morning, let me assure you that the school year is beginning this week. On Thursday, 5,000 smiling faces will be pouring into our buildings and classrooms, excited and eager for an education; to begin their race on the highway of life. You all need to be the “crew chief” for each of these students seeking to wend their way through the bumps, turns and challenges of the school year, preparing them to make decisions, and guiding them through the intricacies of the race for their lives and their futures.
Make your school year a unique "journey." It has been my pleasure to serve you as superintendent these past three years, but more importantly to be your colleague as I end my career with all of you.
Happy New Year and thank you for all you do for the children of this community.
Have a great school year.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Apples and oranges and "smoots", O my!

There is a bridge over the Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts that is approximately 364.4 smoots long. Yes, I said “smoots”; not inches, feet, meters, or any other standard measurement the global society is aware of. And, what is a smoot, you might ask? According to Wikipedia:

The smoot (smuːt/) is a nonstandard unit of length created as part of an MIT fraternity prank. It is named after Oliver R. Smoot, a fraternity pledge to Lambda Chi Alpha, who in October 1958 lay on the Harvard Bridge (between Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts), and was used by his fraternity brothers to measure the length of the bridge.[1]

Mr. Smoot was 5’7” in height, and when lying down across the bridge, over and over again, was said to be the unit of measurement for this bridge.

What I described seems humorous, but a perfect example to consider the futility in understanding how you measure one object using a non-standardized unit of comparative measurement. It is not understandable in the world of science or engineering, it’s a prank.

In an article posted in the NYTimes this weekend by Matt Richtel[2], he attempts to outline the problem of investing in 21st Century materials and resources when assessment and accountability scores are not improving. Let's analyze this assertion by clarifying that the assessments being used to measure creativity, inquiry-based learning, and curiosity, are based on a 2 dimensional perspective of learning where rote teaching, lecture, memorization, and linear learning are valued. This column proves the absurdity of using a smoot to measure a bridge, or comparing apples to  oranges.

When you seek to view a landscape of lush beauty and a vivid panorama of rich colors, through dirty, cracked and discolored lenses one will miss the beauty of the moment. 

As I am sure a rational argument is always available for those that insist there is no value in funding all of these gadgets and resources if a child cannot read, the issue at stake is the faulty supposition he makes. He uses the assertion that unless there is quantitative data showing marked improvement in expectations of accountability, the public investment of funding may be for naught. He is suggesting we should be using "smoots" to measure a bridge!  You cannot use literacy and math accountability tools to measure creativity, curiosity, and inquiry-based learning. It's apples and oranges, and smoots, oh my!

In this day and age where accountability is the siren song of the politicos that have no other issue to rile the community’s anger with, to assume that the investment of funding to increase technological and instructional resources can be measured by assessments of linear accountability is fraught with problems of accuracy.

Despite the best efforts of “psycho-magicians” to create something usable, accountability testing in math and literacy skills are not designed to measure these things. There has been a lack of research and development in social science tools to adequately make this a fair fight. If true 21st Century education is to bolster these essential human functions, why are we continuing to assess through the discolored and fractured lens of competitive accountability?

Direct instruction, or linear instructional activities that focus on rote learning, and passive participation for students, thwarts the creative thinking and inquiry building that 21st century learning could truly inspire in students.

The use of quantitative assessments to measure accountability is a curse that remains with educators since the days of Thorndike who desired education to be a science instead of an art form. Results were needed to verify substance and credibility, regardless of differentiation, special education, multiple aptitudes of learning, and the eventual development of children into 21st Century learners.

According to Diane Ravitch, policymakers have always sought to hold school officials accountable for literacy and performance.[3] Using inappropriate data to prove American educational systems are not doing the job of educating children, is a losing battle for both sides of the argument. Anyone trained in social science research can tell you this.

I believe Piaget said it best, many years ago:

“The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done-people who are creative, inventive, and discoverers.”[4]

By the way, for those people that believe American education is poor, because of what a test is saying to the world, remember, it was a group of Americans that landed a man on the moon in 1969, or found breakthroughs in science, medicine, computers, aviation, etc. and made dazzling contributions to art, music, architecture over the past 100 years. I wonder if someone tried to thwart their imagination when coming up with these accomplishments?!

[1] Smoot. Wikipedia. Retrieved fromSeptember 5, 2011 at
[2] Richtel, M. (September 3, 2011). In Classroom of the Future, Stagnant Scores. New York Times. Retrienved September 4, 2011 at
[3] Ravitch, D. (2002). A brief history of testing. Hoover Digest (4). Retrieved September 4, 2011 at
[4] Kuszewski, A. (July 7, 2011). The educational value of creative disobedience. Scientific American. Retrieved September 4, 2011 at

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Labor Day Weekend 2011...that sick feeling, again!

It's Labor Day weekend in the US, and for many Americans a last long weekend of summer before the summer officially ends. For many children and teachers, it is the worst weekend of the year, since all school age children and teachers have a sick feeling in the pit of their stomachs. But, for a school superintendent it is another weekend where we get to prepare for the opening of another exciting school year.

My favorite activity at the start of the Labor Day weekend is to visit all of my school buildings to absorb the calm before the hustle and bustle of the oncoming activities that make up a school year. I enjoy this mundane act, probably the least interesting of all the things I do as a school superintendent, but one I value the most since I get to ensure the state of readiness for the children of my community.

In touring the rooms, and enjoying the glossy, shiny finish on the floors, I witness the transformation of my district- albeit slow-  in becoming a 21st Century learning environment. Many classrooms now have smart boards, lap tops, ELMO's and other devices to enhance the learning process for kids. But, remember, it's not the equipment that makes the environment a true 21st Century learning community; it's the instructional experience.

Will Richardson recently quoted an interesting remark by Nishant Shah, Research Director of the Centre for Internet and Society in India;

"The digital outcast is not somebody who doesn’t have access to the technologies; s/he is somebody who, after the access has been granted, fails to actualise the transformative potentials of technologies for the self or for others.(1)"

All the equipment added to a classroom does not make the instruction differentiated or meaningful, if teacher centered lectures and the same photocopied worksheets are passed out for the same meaningless busy work that prevents children from reaching their potential and investigating their inquiries and interests.  Even at the administrative level, when everything is done to stretch the budget and place an iPad to make principals and directors more efficient, it is frustrating to see one still walking around with a huge, bounded, planner stuffed and crammed to the seams with thousands of pages of paper and calendars! 

Or, libraries in schools still dependent on static, unchanging volumes called "encyclopedias" or "dictionaries", when the global knowledge base is fluid, evolving and continuous. 

Why are we, as educational professionals, still scared to confront this reality?

Why are there still people in this profession that refuse to actualize the reality of this percept?

Time will tell, and here is hoping that a few teachers will grab onto this reality. 

1. Richardson, W. (2011, September 3). Digital outcast [Web log message]. Retrieved September 4, 2011 from