School Makes Me…

Yesterday I shared a photo shared by one of my facebook friends. When I first saw it, I had a visceral reaction – my gut literally lurched as I read the words in the image. This morning, as I saw my own friends react in very much the same way to the image, I decided to do some after the fact-checking.

Here is the original image:

20130128-061137.jpg

I did my own google.com search with the same terms and came up with this, not quite as descriptive but equally as disturbing:

20130128-055454.jpg

Google.ca, well in character, comes up with a slightly more optimistic version:

20130128-055551.jpg

But things return to their dire straits with a slight change in the search terms:

20130128-055640.jpg

So what does this mean, this assumption on the part of Google that school basically sucks? Since Google provides results based on popular searches…it means that when people type in ‘School makes me’ or ‘School gives me’ they very often complete their searches with those very sad qualifiers.

We have the power to change this.

On a googlish level, we need to start looking for hope. Start searching for the stories that portray school as a transformative space, full of hope, love, care, and relationships.

On a larger level, in our schools and centres, with our students and teachers, we need to live those stories. As educators, we need to be hopeful, loving, and caring. We need to connect with our students and with each other in a way that supports, in a way that ensures no one sees school as a lonely, sad, anxiety-ridden place.

It starts with caring.

We so have the power to change this.

The obsession with interactive white boards

Why is there such a love affair with interactive white boards? Soon after the PQ government was elected this fall, it announced a moratorium on the previous government’s plan to put an interactive white board in every classroom across the province.

I say this is a good thing.
IWBs are expensive and do very little to help students develop competencies.

So why the love affair? It’s an easy way to say, yes, we are integrating technology into our classrooms without really changing much. It integrates tech and maintains the status quo of teacher-centric classrooms.

Is that the source of the obsession, then? They make us look like we are using technology to meet the needs of our students but really they are meeting the needs of educators who are afraid or don’t know how to give up the central role as teacher in their classrooms?

What do you think?