Hello Aaron & Eric,
David Price’s question is certainly intriguing. My initial thought is that we are no longer just educating students. Rapid change creates a learning obligation to students, their parents, and their communities. Recently, I wrote about teacher cognition ( http://goo.gl/IKAL4Q ) and the difficulty to change our perception of school and education from the systems embedded in our schemas. Parents have their own cognition of what school should be based upon personal experiences and popular culture. Regardless if you view change as evolutionary or revolutionary, a “re-education” is required. Re-educating parents means exposing them to the possibilities, such as those highlighted in the video. It means asking challenging questions about the type of learning they want for their children. How many parents work in occupations that have, with but a few exceptions, not dramatically changed during the past few hundred years? How many parents want to visit a doctor, dentist, or mechanic who specialize in 20th century practices?
I recently attended twelve parent-teacher conferences for my own secondary-aged children. In all but one of those conferences the teacher started the conversation with a reporting of current marks and test scores. Is that all most parents have time for? Is there more valuable feedback that can be provided to students, as well as, their parents?
I think Michael Fullen is on target with his recommendation that advances in education be steeped in “real-world problem solving”. How do we gain trust? Maybe trust is built by banding together, (students, parents, and teachers) to identify and solve real problems in their communities.
Online spaces might be considered the last bastion of teens because many of them have yet to feel the power, nor reap the benefits of sharing their learning transparently. In the near future, what will carry more weight with students, high marks in geometry class, or comments on their blog post from a reader a half world away? How can we help teachers and parents feel the power, and understand the benefits of transparent, socially networked learning?
Thank you for the invitation to engage in this interesting conversation. The answers still elude us, but great questions will propel us forward.