I’ve heard it over and over. I wait for it as I am working with teachers who seem to be struggling with the concept of making a transition to digital curriculum.
“Aren’t we just reinventing the wheel?”
Yes we are, in a sense. We should be!
Now don’t get me wrong. If Mr. Smith has created an amazing collection of the best resources for teaching multiplication facts and is willing to share it, there is no reason for Mrs. Jones to create her own from scratch. I believe we are all in this changing time in education together and we must work smarter, not harder (to throw out another cliché phrase). It’s why I share every stinkin’ thing I create, hoping someone will find it beneficial in their own journey.
…But this isn’t the same as our work to transform education by replacing textbooks and worksheets with digital tools.
The stone wheel and wood axle invention was amazing. It changed everything. But what if we stopped there? It was perfect in the day when transportation was a simple cart and you could live your whole life in a 10 mile radius. But can you imagine your high-tech car today, with its computerized engine and Bluetooth sync to your iPhone, trying to cruise down the interstate on that? As the world has changed, so has the wheel. I suppose it is possible that some argued along the way that what they had before was working and had its benefits. (I’m guessing a stone wheel has more than a 70,000 mile warranty… if you can stand the noise that long.) But there is little doubt that it wouldn’t serve our needs today.
We must reinvent the wheel of how we educate students. We have tools today that allow students to learn on a very personalized level. No more holding them back or leaving them in the dust because we have a textbook and worksheets that give everyone the same exact thing, whether it is what they need or not. Technology allows us to have a curriculum that adapts to the achievement of individuals and provides the differentiation teachers have tried to accomplish for years. It enables us to provide learning that is authentic like never before. It’s hard to imagine what the workforce will look like when today’s kindergartener reaches it, but I can guarantee one thing.. it will involve technology.
So let’s get to it.
Let’s work together to reinvent the wheel.
We want our students to go places never before possible, and that takes a different kind of wheel.