Category Archives: CIPA

Education Lobbyist Platform

Well, I did not get much response from my idea of educators banding together and paying one of our own to lobby Washington D.C. for legitimate change in education. I did name a few names in my comments on the blog that sparked the original post and a couple of them responded. (Again I want to emphasize that my original question of “Why do none of the ed-tech leaders seem to have the ear of Duncan, Obama, or any of the other politicians making terrible education policy?” was not meant to be a critique of anyone but was a genuine question).

Some of the responses given were obvious and make sense: “politics, everyone is an education expert, and politician’s minds are hard to change.” But one reason was given that I disagree with: “Don’t assume that even the people in your list agree on the large or small issues regarding a deeply complex issue like education.”

Now I know that people could argue about the fine points of education forever much like churches argue about theology. We love to split into denominations: Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Reformed, Baptist, Mennonite, Presbyterian, 5-point Calvinism, 4-point Calvinism, 2.5-point Calvinism, etc. 

We have educators who believe in standard based grading, rubrics, or no grading; homework, modified homework, or no homework; IWB’s, clickers, laptops, IPads, cell-phones, 1:1, or limit technology; student-owned devices or school purchased; experimentation or research-based decisions; public schools, charters, TFA, or KIPP.

We struggle to define loaded terms and concepts such as Web 2.0, 21st Century skills, literacy, learning, purpose of schools, PLN, social learning.

But even with all of our differences I think that we could agree on some basic tenets of quality education at the Federal level and leave all of the rest to local districts to figure out in their communities. So here is my education platform:

  • Get rid of standardized tests
  • Get rid of NCLB and RTTT
  • Constructivist, student-centered learning
  • Re-write CIPA to give localities power to decide how and what to filter and to allow for the option of student-owned devices
  • Support technology integration in schools
  • Encouragement of cooperation and collaboration in schools
  • Focus on critical thinking and problem solving
Again what these look like in each district would be different, but wouldn’t we all agree to these broad goals over NCLB and RTTT? So do you agree that we agree or am I assuming too much? Are there things you would add or subtract from this list?

Student-owned Wi-Fi?

Lifehacker reports that the next version of Android operating system could contain “built-in USB tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot sharing.” As an Android owner this is exciting, but what could be the future implications for schools? Obviously this will not be on everyone’s phone overnight, but what about five -ten years from now?

Will this type of technology make cable connections obsolete?
Is paying to put Wi-Fi hotspots in school buildings also a waste of money?
Will schools allow students to use this technology or pay waste money on equipment to block the signals?
Will this help end the filtering debates and make CIPA irrelevant?
I think every school should be 1:1 with internet devices. Allowing student-owned devices is the cheapest way to achieve this. This kind of technology could also finally make internet access available to everyone at a reasonable cost and help level the educational playing field for all children. Or educators could get scared and reactionary and do whatever they can to prevent this technology from being implemented in schools. Hmmm….
Thanks to @ijohnpederson for pointing out the article.