It’s been a while since I have blogged. (Well along time for me!) My life has been that crazy lately, no time. During this off time I took my kids on a trip. We went to Walt Disney World! The one place every person on the planet should go at least once. Growing up I loved EPCOT. If you don’t know what EPCOT stands for here you go: “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow” The main purpose of the place was to be a real community for people to live on Disney property (how cool, right?). It going to be a place to test ideas for community and city planning. Walt Disney died before this took place, so in Disney fashion it was made into a theme park. Most of my Disney memories as a child come from here. I loved all the futuristic computer ideas. In the 80s this place was hoping! Today, very run-down and the exhibits were no longer as grand. The World Showcase was still amazing, it was the future world that was no longer future.
Now when you think about EPCOT, I am sure the great big ball is what comes to mind. This ball is actually a ride. Now this ride has been updated over the years, because it had to be! The ride is “Spaceship Earth.” It goes through the history of inventions and technology. Starts with cavemen writing on walls and ends with the birth of personal computers in a garage in California (wonder who that could be?). As you go through this you realize that every “stage” has one theme, communication. the scenes include Phoenicians and the common language, to the Greeks, Romans, Gutenberg, telegraphs, radio, television, and so on. All focus on means of communication. A majority of inventions that we think are the “greatest” are those that seem to make our world smaller. Inventions that put us in touch with someone a little bit farther away than the last invention.
As we went through Spaceship Earth, it never said “But the teachers were not comfortable with this, so it was never learned” or “everyone in the country was afraid of the dangers of this printing press.” No it talked about how this invention lead to the next. It gave examples of progressive thinking at its best. What if those complaints had happened? Would the inventors be allowed to think in a way that would have lead to the next invention or would we have stalled?
Too many times we hear excuses to why technology is not being used in the classroom. It is sick what our students are missing out on when this happens. Do not assume they are getting it somewhere else. They need to be getting it from their teachers that they are will everyday. They need to be taught how to communicate correctly using this new technology. Remember I said the inventions through time made the world a smaller place. When you were in elementary school could imagine talking to someone from a different state? How about another country? Through blogs, twitter, and skype, we do this everyday. Our students need the same opportunities. The past month my students have skyped with students in Nebraska and in Canada. Cannot even describe how that effected my students. Think about how excited they get when someone from another place reads their blogs and comments. This is important. They need the opportunity to converse with those from other places. We need to teach them how small our world has become. We need to allow them to share their ideas beyond the four walls of a classroom.