Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A day at the office

A day at the office isn't what it used to be.
Today I plan to spend the entire morning on some projects at my desk. As I prepared the resources, the extreme changes in my routine from my early years in education to today became unbelievably evident.

The plan is to work on long range planning and budget research. In the early years (pre- interactive technologies), this meant getting out the budget notebooks and collecting the articles and library research as well as the minutes from team meetings. Here was my "preparation" today:

  1. Check a couple of phone messages as I drove in.
  2. Launch Twitter to keep up on happenings in state and around the world - also to read any replies to questions posted yesterday
  3. Launch Skype in preparation for a call later this morning to consult on budget issue with another district
  4. Launch Google Spreadsheets to review updated numbers posted by a colleague last evening
  5. Launch the District Communication Portal - running in the background, it serves as instant contact
  6. Launch Google Calendar - reminders will keep me from missing any scheduled meetings
  7. Launch Planning Wiki - check RSS feeds for any new resources
I find it interesting that I could have completed these steps from anywhere in the world.

How does this routine compare to the beginning of classes in many schools? How many students drag themselves into a classroom, sit at an isolated desk and are directed to:
  1. Open your books to page **
  2. Hand in your written homework
  3. Listen to an explanation of the next section
  4. Write down the assignment for tomorrow
  5. Work quietly alone to get the homework started
Are we teaching how we work? or Are we teaching how we were expected to learn?

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