Posted by: Margaret Campbell | June 18, 2011

Not Change, But Convergence


What systems are going to converge in education as a result of the current and emerging crossover technologies in computing? Not “What is going to change?” but, “What will converge?” There are too many imbedded, entrenched, buried, solidified, petrified, and just plain dead structures within the US educational system for wholesale change to happen. Change implies that the US educational system could be different from what it is. Change would mean bringing a substantially dead system back to life. Fat chance.

But convergence is a different matter. Convergence means that living, thriving systems long hindered, battered, and squelched by a morbid educational system will come together as a result of the birth of new crossover influences, crossover technologies.

The US educational system has plateaued in terms of efficiency and performance, relies heavily on curriculum materials that are considered overpriced and are often out-of-date, is locked into contracts with a restricted group of incumbent media companies and publishers, and maintains curriculum control over its “credentialed” teachers with administrative strong-arm techniques and national testing standards. These are signposts for a disruption of the dying and dead systems by a convergence of the living systems.

So, where are the living systems in education today? Where are the systems that have enough life in them that they can respond to the “touch” of mobile computing, social networking, gaming, open resources, and transparency? Where is it possible to see living wood that can carry the juice of the future? What systems are pulsing with life and energy?

What is saying “no,” and what is saying “yes?”

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