Education doesn’t need monorails!!!
I had a great conversation with an amazing educator/administrator at workyesterday. We were both feeling a little burnt out and overwhelmed by all these people / companies gouging at us to extract every single possible last drop of knowledge we have on education so they can make a buck.
I am getting tired of meeting self-proclaimed Gurus, Ninjas, Experts, Thought Leaders, and the like who aren’t educators (or maybe used to be) taking over the spaces and conversation by consulting, selling and speaking to educators about educating with the goal in mind being dollars and not better always better experienced for students. I want to go to a session and see a teacher who puts in long hours trying something cool, who tweaked it to work on student feedback and who shares it to the world! Instead I get a sales person like the monorail guy on the Simpsons telling me what I need for the students in front of me.
I am not saying I hate Edtech or start ups, I have done a countless number of things with them and happy to test and try out things and when I see a cool tool that really gets at rich learning I am all for it. But lately I am seeing corporations / people enter the space and key decision makers are getting the wool pulled over their eyes and making big deals, big decisions and buying random things / ideas instead of checking with educators first.
To the start ups and Edtech people out there, I have lots of love for you, and there are good ways of going about creating things for education spaces, and it involves students and teachers from day one. There are also the massive companies entering education, professors turning to consultants and teachers who lost their vision in education.
With the world being more connected it is easier to find people doing things great things, it’s easier to publish information, easier to earn degrees or badges or become the next Google educator. I did the Google educator program and I learned a lot about great ways to use the tool for student learning. I don’t need google to define me as an educator or rate me, same goes with Microsoft, Smartboard, or whoever. I am and always will be a teacher looking for the best things for my students. I present for free, upload all my resources for free (one exception is I uploaded a resource to Teachers Pay Teachers to see how it works but 1 is .99 and the other 3 are free) and I will connect anyone doing anything amazing to other people for free…why? I am in it to move education forward. My lessons reach my 30 kids that year, but if I have something awesome that can go to 6 teachers to reach another 180 kids that is amazing.
And just like in the Simpson the sales pitch ends, schools get all their shiny new things / ideas and without PD or support and the monorail crashes and another company walks away with cash. Soon another is knocking at the door with a solution to the last problem.
Alright this rant is done 🙂 I am almost at my subway stop. My key message is, do what is best for kids, don’t sell out, share and be nice to others, and let’s make the experience for kids the best we possibly can collectively. I know I have the privilege of having a full time teaching job so DON’T HAVE to hustle for my pay. So I see where some of their hustle comes from but my pay has no direct correlation to how hard I hustle (just how old I get unfortunately) but I hustle in everything I do!
All my educator friends have an amazing summer!