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June 13, 2007


Dan Meyer

Yeah, sorry again for the confusion. To further clean up what I started here, I'm _not_ saying School 2.0 is dead. And I'm probably saying the exact opposite of this:

"In a world of either/or, us/them, red/blue, right/wrong, you gotta pick sides. There is no room for nuance, illusion, provocation, gray, or that spirally soft-serve ice cream. Gotta choose."

School 2.0 has established their ideological opponents time and again to be this tech-hating, unevolving, obstinate teacher, who'd rather lecture at her kids than ask questions or hold discussions.

My point is merely that reducing the terms of the debate to those extremes (either/or, us/them, School 2.0 teacher/slobbering nincompoop) isn't doing anybody any good.

Teachers that lousy don't care what you say about them. Teachers in the middle (School 1.5, the agnostic of the bunch) resent being lumped in with them. And finally, it perpetuates the echo chamber phenomenon among School 2.0 bloggers. Everyone gets dirty.


Dan -- Much appreciate seeing you continue this conversation. Since we've already had a chance to talk personally about the original link confusion, I won't go into extra detail here...but I appreciate you clarifying that it wasn't my post in particular that inspired your reaction. I'm also glad to see that Jeremy has actually responded once again -- after seeing your update -- so the two of you can continue to move mountains, and possible find common ground.

My sense as I'm re-reading all of this is that the either/or debate really isn't a 2.0 issue. That debate, in fact, existed long before technology began to grab headlines.
And I'd also say that any of us -- waving whatever flag might be in our hands -- do little if we force it into an either/or camp. To this, we agree.

More importantly, thank you for taking time to push the question(s). Here's where you and I agree re: your original post:

1. Lecture in of itself is not a problem. In fact, it often plays a vital role in helping students gain footing in an area that they are unfamiliar. We agree. Traditionally it played a stronger role than I think the future of schooling should allow, but that's not the same as reducing lecture to a worthless side note.

2. School 1.5 is an intriguing construct -- while a response of sorts, I'm glad you're using it. School 2.0 (at best) is a horizon line to consider, not worry about building perfectly. It's not a template, nor a solution. It's just a distant mark to consider, move towards, and explore. 1.5, semantically seems like a pretty great place to be today. We agree.

3. "...put in long hours to do right by our kids." I think you and I have talked in common on this before, so I'll just say, amen, brother, amen. We agree in spades here. And BTW, there are plenty on both sides of the 2.0 fence that do this...and plenty who do not. The tools matter little if the heart isn't there, right?

4. Whether poverty or little bitty kiddos or the wealthiest and most plugged in kids around, I think it comes down to connecting passionately with the kids...both about what you value and what engages them. Again, it's not about tools. But we agree it heart. But I would say that little kids are becoming more and more digitally savvy, so the 'age' will be less and less critical in time. As for poverty? This is the million dollar question that can be answered in as many ways. Having worked with those kids many times over...I'd say that ANY tool I can find for them it is my moral responsibility to put in their hands. BTW, look at Chris' school. And look at most of his kids. And then ask the poverty question again. But we agree in spirit here.

So, there you go. We agree on the most vital. Some of the tone/language, maybe not, but where it counts, yes.

As to whether "everyone gets dirty", hopefully we're closer to finding where everyone gets inspired on their terms, by any means necessary.

Thanks for pushing the conversation. Catch you later.


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