Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Working (or not) for a Technology Start Up Company....

     Ah, the cost of wanting to push the edge of the envelope, being on the forefront of innovation, meeting kids where they are in terms of their technology use, increasing their level of engagement and excitement about the process of schooling, and changing the face of education as we know it - unemployment!  After 7 months of helping schools implement blended learning classrooms across the country, I find myself unemployed for the first time in 40 years.  On the second day of my new life I reflect on what went wrong.....
     Education Elements, without a doubt the leading band of forward thinking technology consultants in the country, downsized the band by 50% last week.  The "pivot" (corporate speak for "we better do something different 'cause we are running out of money quick") was in response to the market not responding as quickly as hoped, and for that matter as quickly as it should.
     We have been talking about transforming schools for the past quarter of a century, but walk into most schools across the country and you'd swear you were back in my old school in the seventies, except of course that now there are laptops instead on Apple IIe's.  Unfortunately, too much of the innovation out there in the educationsphere is being driven by grants, all too often all too short.  While many education leaders are labeling themselves as "innovative" it is about time somebody stepped up and put their money where their mouths are.
     You would be hard pressed to find anyone in the field who could present a case as to why schools should not increase the level of blended learning in today's classrooms.  Even those old dogs who just figured out how to text are beginning to see the light.  Here's the rub - until school systems, CMO's and boards start making blended learning a priority by funding it within their own budgets rather than relying on grants, schools will look pretty much the same another quarter of a century from now.  I will mark my calendar for 25 years from today and make sure I update you on the state of our schools and blended learning, unless all of the kids have completely checked out by then....

Personal note - My apologies for not posting for the past 7 months. It was grueling trying to change the system.  Time to figure out another approach?

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