Education and Technology is a very interesting amalgamation of many types of people who often get lost in the shuffle. Students feel shunned because they are asked to turn off their electronic worlds when they enter the sacred halls of learning. Teachers often feel impeded because the Technology / Network teams have blocked useful resources. Technology / Network teams have blocked these resources because of limited resources or by administrative decree (believe it or not most Network Administrators are not control freaks). Administrators struggle with the two-headed monster of protecting students by adhering to COPPA, CIPA, HIPA and other standards while trying to encourage 21st century learning. Add parents to that mix and you can easily see the lack of cohesion that exists in most educational institutions.
Yet, there is no forum for these individual units to come together and discuss the issues that each are facing. And what ends up happening? Students find a way to access their forbidden electronics, teachers find ways to bypass filters, tech teams come up with more roadblocks to hamper their efforts and administrators are questioned as to why their schools aren't embracing 21st century standards? Does any of this sound familiar?
Fortunately, I am in a very progressive district and rarely witness the above situation. Yet, I continuously hear rumblings (and yes grumblings) about this from my PLN. But, nobody seems to be willing to do anything about it? And most of the time, it is due to lack of communication or understanding regarding the positions of all players involved. So, I have a question / proposal. If I were to create a forum (either online or in the form of an Ed Camp) for students, teachers, tech teams, administrators and yes even parents to come together and discuss the issues and challenges they face open and honestly, would you participate? Please drop a comment and let me know what you think!