Antero Garcia's article Getting Serious About Reimagining Learning in the Digital Age got my attention. I had the pleasure of being on a panel with Antero and Julie Keane at Designing Learning Futures, the DML2011 conference held in Long Beach, California last March, where we had the opportunity to talk about Adopting Participatory Learning in Classrooms.
Conferences can serve as a form of meta-conversation, which is all well and good, but one of the qualities that sets the digital media and learning field apart is the do-it, make-it, get-it-done collective approach that gives ordinary conversation a gunning-the-engine effect. Antero's appeal to the digital media and learning field to focus on classrooms is a provocation for you, you, and yes, you to get up and get urgent about participatory learning in schools.
Below are a few provocations from Antero's post about digital media and learning in public schools (and I encourage you to read the rest over at DMLCentral).
"I want to have a conversation about what it’s going to take to turn schools around and why digital media -- as it’s currently being used -- isn’t yet helping."
"Ignoring tests and the schooling environments that they take place in is not only unwise on the part of our field, but also is damaging to the validity and strength of the claims about learning that are being made."
"Teachers want to work with innovators and I’m encouraging you to strike up a conversation with a teacher at a nearby school."
"As things stand right now, unless participatory media takes a deliberate step into classrooms and into testing data, long-term sustainable funding and adoption seem unlikely."
"By working outside of schools, innovators are shielded from the realities of public education; it may be easier to work with kids on a voluntary basis, but it’s likely to not be very impactful in terms of scale or policy."