Hello, and welcome to my new blog! I have had a few “false starts” with blogs in the last few years, but I blame that on my desire to cover topics that, although significant, seemed too out of control to explore. This blog, however, really draws from my experiences in education and thus should be much easier – and more fun – to manage. So on we go!
Having taught English for ten years in private schools (at both the high school and college levels), I have seen the educational system in our country experience a seismic shift with respect to how schools operate, how teachers instruct, and how students learn. The name of the game today is: tomorrow. More and more, education is looking to future ideas and technologies that can be implemented in today's school setting. That said, the American educational system seems at a crossroads right now, pitting “old school” (no pun intended) educators with “new school” thinking. Many schools confuse “traditional” with “antiquated” and refuse to change their methodologies and operational procedures. Often, the schools that resist change are the ones with poorly prepared students and disgruntled faculties and staffs; those that at least consider modernization account for more positive environments. Gone also are the days when teachers and professors can stand in the front of the class like a “sage on the stage” and lecture endlessly while flipping transparencies in a dark classroom. Sure, some instructors still teach that way, but often with fruitless results. Today's teacher successfully incorporates some modicum of technology or interactivity into the daily lessons, often for the students' benefit.
In addition to teaching, I also have studied the “nuts and bolts” of educational administration and operations. How and why do schools and colleges operate the way they do? What are they doing to plan for the future? More importantly, DO they have plans for the future? The aforementioned questions (and many more) became part of my studies and, ultimately, my interests as an educator. I still am exploring answers to those questions – that's assuming I even will find answers in the first place!
What, then, is the goal of this blog? To put it simply, I want to create a means to discuss what I call the “21st century school zone” and its many components: administration, teaching and learning, technology, student performance, and much more. Now, you might say to yourself, “But Matt, the 21st century isn't the future – it's now.” You would be right if you were talking about anything BUT education; unfortunately, in many ways, today's education remains stuck in yesterday's world and appears to be spinning its wheels. My goal is, in a figurative sense, to help push the car out of the mud and to get it back on the highway. To that extent, my posts will consist of reporting on (with appropriate discussion and commentary) on educational news; review of instructional technologies and/or products; reflection on new educational trends and research; and commenting on my “life experiences” that seem relevant to the discussion at hand. And that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
I know I won't change the educational universe by maintaining this blog – that's impossible! However, if I can even get people thinking more about the direction of education, I have accomplished my mission. Join me, won't you?