Random Thoughts

Fear + Unknown = Bubble

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Some great discussion from the e-mail I posted from a former student of mine who is finding his new school more restrictive than what we had in place here last year. I say last year because we have tightened the belt a little on students here. He was also in my teentek.com class last year and hacked up our themes and was the system admin for the site for the year. He also would get frustrated with students wasting time on “stupid flash games” and took it upon himself to seek and destroy flash games as student downloaded them. He knew the “hiding places” and would keep our system clean for us.

Number 2: You cannot modify the computer I understand…and I’m pretty sure he does understand why this has been locked. He knows his way around a computer…others not so much and we’d end up with a lot of dead computers.

Number 4: No inappropriate content…what is inappropriate? Is the YouTube video of a guy on a skate board crashing inappropriate or educational? When you’re talking porn I understand, but are anti-government sites inappropriate? How about medical sites? It’s an interesting conversation.

It’s the changing landscape that has instilled this fear in us. I actually read blogs today, I mean really sat and did some reading. The first since I’ve arrived here in Shanghai back on August 1st…it felt good.

Here are some thoughts that I think tie in to what I’ve been talking about.

From BusinessWeek via Will R

Complicating matters is the fact that the very idea of a company is shifting away from a single outfit with full-time employees and a recognizable hierarchy. It is something much more fluid, with a classic corporation at the center of an ever-shifting network of suppliers and outsourcers, some of whom only join the team for the duration of a single project.

From Remote Access

We move from spaces where we “do” things that are educational “to” kids, towards becoming spaces that allow students more control, and empower them to become independent, globally concerned learners.

From Scholastic

“Every school in the country is grappling with the same issues.” According to Will Richardson, author of Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms, we have seen the enemy, and it is us. Adults simply don’t know how to model appropriate digital behavior, he believes, so kids are making up the rules on their own. Is it a case of bad technology leading to bad behavior or good technology with not enough role models?

From David Warlick

These tentacles that have sprouted from our children are not visible.  We can’t see them.  They can’t see them.  But they are a part of our children. They are the hands and feet that take our children where they want to go. And they enter our classrooms, and we chop their tentacles off…
…because we want our children to be the students we want to teach, rather than teaching the children that they are.

From teach42

It took a 16 year old 30 minutes to bypass it. So the government added another filter to take care of the security hole. The same teenager was able to bypass the new addition within 40 minutes.

So what did this hooligan have to say for himself?

“Filters aren’t addressing the bigger issues anyway,” he said.

“Cyber bullying, educating children on how to protect themselves and their privacy are the first problems I’d fix.

“They really need to develop a youth-involved forum to discuss some of these problems and ideas for fixing them.”

What a radical idea. I wonder whether they could have developed such a forum or educational program for less than $84 million dollars…

I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who sees this shift happening and is struggling with how free this bubble is. Society is changing, the way we work and play is changing, yet is the educational system changing? Our educational system is suppose to prepare students for the work force once they leave us, but are we preparing them for the work force we want to happen or the reality of what work looks like in the 21st Century?

By the way…in case you didn’t know. I’m working in China…because there are American workers here….lots of them!

[tags]21st Century Education[/tags]

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I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. Fear is perhaps the thing that prevents change and growth. I have worked in two systems now that were doing great things, but fear stopped them dead in their tracks. Teachers were encouraged to learn, to take risks, to try new things in a very safe and supportive environment;however, fear on the part of a few overruled the great things. We talked to the teachers and the community about the World is Flat, and were shocked when many said that the status quo was good enough. They didn’t seem to worry that our kids were not competing at major universities or that our dropout rate was approaching 20%. Fear is a dangerous thing.

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  3. Fear of unknown and hesitation miss many opportunities in life. From love to comfort many un-availed things are missed out in life. If we express our love, the girl would have accepted. If we apply for the job, we could have got it. But some fear of unknown and hesitation stops us from expressing our desires. We miss many opportunities in our life because of hesitation and fear of unknown.
    Thanks excerpt from:

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