Next year’s Town School budget does not include a position for someone to help elementary teachers, students, and staff with the various tasks and challenges involved with technology.
Things like learning and running programs, exploring the web, taking and editing pictures, making slide shows, playlists, videos, virtual spaces, interactive stories, comic books, digital posters, blogs, navigating the cloud, connecting devices, and platforms etc..etc. These essentials of a well-rounded education are vanishing.
With testing so prevalent, the skills of media fluency, storytelling, and composition are not cultivated. They are considered expendable, and that’s unfortunate, to say the least. We perform as consumers of technology, as producers not so much
In a similar vein comes the question often heard about the skatepark debate: how many skaters are there in town? Do people consider that for ten years, almost a whole generation of kids has been harassed, ticketed, scapegoated, strung out bureaucratically. And still, many do skate- but it takes a special kind of determination. Would the numbers not be higher if there was more recognition, support, or widespread encouragement?
In case anyone thinks these arguments are too specialized, let’s look at Democracy itself. When people are spied upon, threatened with the label of terrorist for expressing their beliefs, put in cages at rallies, pepper sprayed, told of indefinite detention, outspent by cartels..eventually, who but the most unbowed and relentless will freely exercise our constitutional rights to assembly and free speech.
This matter of who thrives is not a Darwinian equation. It’s not a market driven sum. If we chose an oppressive and corporate mindset for our worldview, if we justify our shortsightedness by flawed and myopic reasoning, we leave ourselves no choice but to accept the brutish bottom line as our daily reality.