Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Beyond the Pale

Yesterday was a very busy adrenaline filled day for this ed tech geek: Meetings, Challenges and Approvals. So much so that I began reflecting on the roads I have traveled thus far on this weary journey called life.

The friends I had in high school and college who are starting to return to me through Social Networks like Facebook. Just a few years ago I was struggling to embrace Social Networking as an educational tool. Until I started to realize that it was a valuable collaboration and communication resource.

In college I was an elementary education and psychology major; but used too much technology in my lesson plans, according to the powers that were. So student teaching never happened for me and now I am committed to the 21st Century philosophies on education and technology.

Most recently, I faced the challenge of unemployment and had to decide whether to say in the education sector or go make some real money in the "real world". Until I came to realize that Ed Tech is the real world. It's the future.

Most importantly, I have found that I seem to live outside the status quo. I don't "conform to the norm". I don't accept the norm and I try to live "Beyond the Pale". I believe that no matter how long you have been on the planet it is never too late to change your ways and learn new things. I may act a little "different" sometimes and realize I can seem a little eccentric, but I'm comfortable in my own skin.

I realize there are barriers and aversions to technology that have been built over the course of time and have developed out of antiquated pedagogies (which when they were designed to fit the model of the society in which we lived). And I typically take this as my personal quest in life to help people mitigate and break these barriers. And today I saw the following graphic while looking for a graphic of a fork in the road for a totally different project and it put everything in prospective for me.

We have a choice as educational technologists, educators and digital citizens in the 21st century. We can take the comfortable road of conformity and continue with the status quo until it all breaks down or we can go "beyond the pale" together and break through to a new world of communication, collaboration and learning. Bridging the technology and achievement gaps that have grown as our society continues to expand and diversify. That's the challenge I issue you today (on two hours sleep) will you breakdown or breakthrough?



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