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Michael N. Smith

Michael N. Smith

Posted: November 19, 2010 07:01 PM

In 100 years, historians will be discussing the power of Twitter (and whatever else comes along and crushes it in the next 18 minutes).

In particular, they will talk about the impact of Twitter on education reform.

Books will be written (not on paper... for the computer chip implanted behind your eye) and movies will be made (again, for the little screen in your brain... not the big screen in a theater).

Twitter will define the first part of this century, much like automobiles ruled the early 1900s (like I have any idea what I'm talking about).

The book/chip titles will almost write themselves.

Twitter Changed Schools. Twitter Gave a Voice to Education Reformers. Twitter was the Greatest Invention Since the Spork. Twitter Rocked!

Actually, the last one will be a musical about Twitter starring the great great great grandson of John Stamos.

Since many of you will be dead by then, let me sum up how history SHOULD look back on Twitter and education.

Twitter gave a voice to geeks.

That's it.

That's how history should remember this point in time.

Twitter + Geeks + Opinions = Change.

At least that's how I hope it will end. I haven't seen the change part just yet, but I'm hopeful.

If you are offended by my inference that geeks use Twitter, get over yourself. You're reading a blog about education, an evil little girl, and a dog written by a school superintendent who barely passed Composition I in junior college.

If you're not a geek, you could have fooled me.

My only complaint with Twitter and education reform is, I think we are talking (or tweeting) about the wrong issues.

There are all kinds of discussions (tweets) on technology, tenure, class size, evaluations, and school funding but not enough on the more important issues.

Like school desks.

In case you haven't used one in the last 30 minutes, they're still torture devices.

If you are over 40 years old, don't even attempt to sit in one. Because while you may be able to sit down, you'll never get up without the Jaws of Life.

If students could only organize themselves into a lobbying group, I truly believe the first issue they would tackle would be the inhuman sitting conditions they face every day.

Prison inmates have nicer furniture (I know this because they email me).

How can people complain about the lack of progress with teachers using technology, but they don't address the fact kids are expected to learn on what is basically a wooden crate.

And then we yell at them when they won't sit still.

Like it's their fault their legs are asleep.

Have you ever seen a 9-year-old play video games or watch TV?

Newsflash: they don't sit straight up and down with both feet on the floor.

They sit, or lie, or hang off the couch in whatever position they find comfortable.

How can we expect them to learn when we confine them to a school desk?

Buddy the Dog has more freedom, and he lives in a crate (and a lovely recliner).

The next time you tweet about education reform keep this in mind. Adults design schools, classrooms, and school furniture. And they all look exactly like they did 50 years ago.

You want education reform?

Let students sit on the floor.

It's more comfortable for them and it's at least a small step in the right direction.

 

Follow Michael N. Smith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@principalspage