My work around modern learning and schooling is driven by the intersection of three powerful experiences in my life. First, I’m a parent, currently the owner of two teenagers. My daughter Tess is 19; my son Tucker is 17 and is a senior in high school. Without question, I think harder about the world of learning and the future of work and education through my lens as a parent more than anything else.
Second, I also bring 22-years as a public school teacher and technology administrator to the conversation. Even though it’s been a decade since I was employed in a school, I understand the realities of change for teachers and leaders at every level.
Finally, I’ve been learning in online networks for the better part of two decades now, starting as a blogger way back in 2001. Back then, only a handful of us were thinking and writing about the new “Web 2.0” tools that have come to be called “social media” and their impacts on learning and classrooms. It’s been this lens that’s led me to rethink almost everything about schooling and education.
In these last 10 years, I’ve met thousands of educators, kids, parents, policy makers, board members, business people and many others during visits to over 15 countries around the world. I’ve written six books, and published in numerous newspapers, journals, and magazines, all of which continues to amaze both me and the 17-year old aspiring writer self that still lives within me. I’ve made countless friends, and been fortunate enough to have learned with some of the smartest most passionate people in the world.
We are at an inflection point for schools, and this moment generates a bevy of interesting questions: What is an education now that school is everywhere? Why don’t we do in schools what we know makes learning happen in real life? What is the role of school in a child’s life? What is the role of a teacher? What new skills, literacies, and dispositions are required to succeed in the networked, connected world of learning that our kids will live in? (See more about what I believe about schools and the modern world.)
What I feel I can offer right now is to help schools and educators make sense of what’s happening in terms of technology and learning, and to help them forge a path forward. It’s a fascinating, complex, powerful moment, and I feel really privileged to have worked and learned with so many others to try to make sense of it.
Here’s to the ongoing journey!