“My principal would like to have YouTube unblocked for teachers so they can access educational videos,” shared a teacher colleague. “That way, they can at least show them to students.”
“That’s not going to happen,” I replied, knowing exactly the views of a particular leadership team in a school district. “They’re a bit locked in the past and focused on prevention of even the unlikely from happening.”
At Dangerously Irrelevant, Dr. Scott McCleod makes a great point that struck me when I stepped into the role of Director of Technology Operations:
We’re afraid of an awful lot of stuff that never seems to actually happen.
At the time, we were pondering whether to put in strict security protocols, but the nagging question that eventually won the day was, “How likely is the possibility that something bad will happen?” So, we tested the idea. A year passed and nothing happened. It doesn’t mean that bad things can’t happen, but you recover a lot of energy spent on planning and protecting for the unlikely.
As you regain those energies spent on protecting against the unlikely, you begin to find energy to do other things….
- What happens if we allow students and staff to access YouTube and encourage them to use it for academic and sharing purposes, rather than block them because we’re suspicious of them?
- What happens if we provide students and staff with devices and ask them to take care of them instead of treating the equipment as something that will be broken because they are irresponsible children?
- What happens when we stop teaching the curriculum that leads to mediocre test scores, and focus on engaging students in relevant projects that involve creativity, connection and collaboration?
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