Monday, August 2, 2010

Twitter, School and Schrodinger's Cat

I use Twitter as an aid to learn about teaching methods, get teaching ideas, or to help others looking for the same. It seems that lately there have been many conversations describing how classrooms (a little) and schools (much more often) have to change for the benefit of the students. I have not been as engaged in these discussions, instead I have usually chosen to just follow them.

Now that school is starting I am beginning to view these conversations as a Twitter version of  Schrodinger's cat. The (very basic) idea is that you put a cat in a box with a device that may or may not kill the cat. While the box is shut the cat is neither dead or alive, it simply has the potential to be one or the other. 

When we open up the box what will we see? Will we see more Van Meter/SLA type schools or will we see a dead cat? When school starts we will realize the outcome of this summer's experiment. I hope the cat is still alive.


Kathryn (koolkat222) said...

Very interesting post. I, too, have been more of an observer to most of these conversations. Most of the time, I observe because my school does not have the technology to allow me to do with my students many of the things described on Twitter. Now, your analogy is making me look at things from a different perspective. How much should things change?

Kathy (tenteacher) said...

Interesting question. I think that it may depend on how well the cat was when it went into the box. While funding for technology is still a huge concern, many free tools, which are very classroom friendly, can now be found. I hope that at the end of this year when my cat goes back into the box it will be better fed than last year.

Wm Chamberlain said...

@Kathryn Thanks for the comments and follow-up on Twitter.

@Kathy it is interesting that you assumed this post was about technology. I think that may say a lot about the people we follow on Twitter ;) Really this is more about student-centered learning (although I suppose it will mean different things to different people).

John Hadley Strange said...

I'm not much on cats, but this time I am on the cat's side! Interesting!