Tag Archive: Tiger Woods; Ashton Kutcher; digital; 21st century; education; technology;


As a parent I want the latest and most useful technology tools in the hands of my own kids.  As a student, I want it in my own hands.  As a district level administrator specializing in technology integration, I want it in the hands of the thousands of students and teachers and administrators I serve. 

The future of technology is not just the software, not just the hardware but is inclusive of the social network that uses it all.  Having an integrated tool that is mobile is a key in making it all work.

From a practical standpoint, and as a parent of kids who bring home (no kidding) 40lbs of books in a book bag each day, the idea of a single, lightweight, mobile and easily transportable device makes perfect sense.  If that device is connected socially; allows for input for notes, creation of documents, charts, pictures; carries the latest updatable information, it has hit the target squarely in the middle. 

Technology tends to get out to the masses and is used in business by those who figure it out long before it hits the classrooms.  This has to change. I have said for years that the last place to get the most up to date technology is a school setting.  By the time it gets there, it is no longer the latest or the greatest anything and our kids in school are shorted on that end. 

How great would it be if electronic text books came out before best sellers on an e-reader?  How awesome would it be if the first million Wii or X-Box Knect showed up in k-12 Gyms before the living rooms of the world?  How incredible would it be if a lightweight, touchscreen slate computer was issued the first days of school to each student and wireless was ubiquitous in each building rather than having to be tied to a wire? 

How can it influence the future?  If we take the use of technology tools as seriously as we take the ability to read, write, cipher and understand science and the world we live in, the influence is endless. The problem is the fear.  Not the fear kids have (they have little to none), the fear that some of our teachers and educational leaders have.  The lack of relevance that technology tools seem to have to them is amazing.  If once patiently embraced, I can see the future taking flight.

I can see it.  I can feel it.  I can almost touch it.  It is the future.

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21st Century or just Digital?

On vacation this week in Orlando and of course, this is near Tiger Woods home. Tiger has been THE story since the beginning of the month and along with that has been the controversy of “do we drop the Tiger association” by companies because of bad press?

So what does Tiger Woods and his issues have to do with education or technology much less the two put together? I know, taking advantage of the story of the moment…read on tech types.

Recently there has been some “less than favorable” press regarding the coalition for 21st century skills and if perhaps there might be some things that have not been above board. Say it’s not so! A group of individuals who form an organization that seeks to guide a common purpose and they come under scutiny with someone funding a fault. Hmmm. That’s unusual he write’s sarcastically.

I have been thinking about something however before the issue arose that something may be amiss at the organization. Do we really need to continue to call technologically filled classrooms “21st century classrooms” or the ability to use technologies “21st century skills” anymore? I am not trying to ditch the moniker at the first sign of trouble, we are after all 10 years into the 21st century.

Here’s my thought, rather than using the 21st century name as if it represents the Holy Grail of education, how about we just call them “digital classrooms” and/or “digital skills?” Maybe even “current” skills? Current might be reaching since the skill set required to be current changes so frequently that even digital native and Twittermaster Ashton Kutcher might not even be able to keep up.

I welcome your thoughts and hope all have a great holiday.

Mike