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Patrick

Powerful blog, powerful post. This is the conversation that should monopolize School Board meetings across North America, not the current slate that exists.

New Focal Point #8--No Borders to me is the most important by far. This point stresses to the community that learning is not a finite thing, not constrained by time or place. It is this perception that hinders school change more than any other. When a community can see itself as a stakeholder, one that goes beyond just a taxpayer, in an educational institution, real philosophical change has taken place. How many adults do we encounter that still feel beholden to their community school after their children have gone through and moved on? Very few. This should change.

This idea, this blog, is a welcome addition to the conversation. Cheers.

Randy Rodgers

Some great points, Greg! I would add a couple of thoughts:

1. Change is already mandated, only it is by the changing world marketplace, technology, and an ever-increasing amount of knowledge available to our students. Opening a text and reading about a rainforest does not suffice in a world where a child can go online, watch a video of a researcher in the field, exchange emails with another child living in a foreign country, engage in a video chat with a classroom thousands of miles away, and create and share their own video presentation with the entire planet. To cling to old practices is to cheat our students. "If it ain't broke, why fix it?" It IS broken, and the tools to fix it are available--it is mandatory to embrace the change!

2. I like the thought of eliminating textbooks. South Africa has done so already, opting instead to create an online collection in the form of a wiki (http://www.lookitup.co.za/). Information will be updated in real-time, eliminating the problem of texts that become out-of-date days after they are published. Students and teachers will be able to take on a new role as content contributors, adding a new dimension of meaningfulness to their schoolwork.

3. Finally, I'd add this about your comment about sacred cows. I heard it in a workshop years ago: "Sacred cows make the best burgers!"

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