A story for you … (Ok,so it’s a little corny 😉
In a village, in a valley, in a land far, far away … there lived a community of professional educators. They’d lived together fairly happily for a couple of centuries, in their separate medieval monarchies. All the usual fairytale characters were represented; there were Principals, Queenipals, an abundance of lowly court officials, and the hard-working dedicated professional peasants who supported the whole structure.
Long ago, their pioneering ancestors had travelled to this place, sailing across wide seas and braving many hardships in their search for new lives and opportunities for their children. Their ancestors had hoped to leave many of their antiquated customs behind, but in this strange new land the old customs brought them some comfort, and they were reluctant to relinquish them.
Very soon they found they’d re-established many of the familiar systems and strategies from the old world and, although not all of them fitted as snugly as they had in distant countries and distant times, the people generally accepted things as they were and got on with the business of daily life. Things might have remained this way for some time, if they hadn’t experienced a sudden and unprecedented attack of … technology.
Sure, new technologies and materials had always been a catalyst for change; but in this case the change was sudden and dramatic. Previously, they’d experienced the insidious arrival of books, silks, spices, gunpowder, coffee, steam engines and electricity etc. They’d even bravely absorbed biro’s, twink and felt pens – but this sudden influx of materials and technologies had far more effect on their sheltered society than any earlier technological advance, and they were caught unprepared.
Almost overnight they were over run. No one was immune and very soon the valley was riddled with machines that allowed for instant access to information and instant personal communication. The children had absorbed the change first and to everyone’s horror, they took to carrying miniature communicators and information accessors in their pockets, and acting as if they knew what to do with them.
Many professional educators fought bravely. They banned instant personal communication from their ivory towers. They attempted to barricade themselves, and their subjects, behind traditional castle walls – to protect their innocent charges from exposure to unreliable and inappropriate information. All to no avail. The invasion was overwhelming and resistance was futile.
However, these were clever people. They realized that eventually they would have to throw open the castle gates and pretend to welcome the change, so they decided to do it under their own terms ie. Collaboration rather than Surrender. You see, they had observed that there could be long term personal and societal benefits to the change … if managed and turned to their own advantage.
It began slowly, but as they explored the possible applications and advantages of each new technology, they also began to re-examine and re-design the ancient systems and strategies of their learning community. Ahh, their pioneering ancestors would have been proud… because this is where the story really starts ….
😀 DM Dyet , May 2008.