Alexandria Online

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Save Your School: Maintain Maximum Signal Strength

If you want to keep your school growing and thriving, turn up the signal. Yes, you need high bandwidth, but take that as a metaphor for learning and teaching.

Schools have to let in as much new content as they can bear. The quality of online content is soaring. At first the promise of the internet was over-hyped: the complete universe of written matter was available, but who wanted to read through all that?

Now the content has been formed, indexed, packaged and polished. It is easy to find age-appropriate material that fits into any curriculum. There are ingenious tools that deliver adaptive, intelligent content. The medium -- the way the instruction is delivered -- has become more interesting than the message -- the content. For the very best stuff you have to pay money; a lot of it is free.

But if you really want to pursue excellence, you need to transmit as well as receive. Make sure your signal is a two-way synchronous signal. Your school should generate its own content and methods. Dont strain yourselves: we don't need every teacher to be publishing original textbooks. Think more along the lines of the remixes that make M.I.T.'s Scratch social engineering site so brilliant. Receive the signal and remix it; respond to the signal; reply.

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