Friday, March 19, 2010

Tools for Adult Practice in Schools

This is an interesting session for me. To be frank, I am more administrator these days (and that role continues to grow). I use the P21 Framework constantly. In particular, the Communication and Collaboration elements.

A little context to my use of this part of P21 recently. Brebeuf is revamping it's Student Handbook and AUP. The lines are appearing between those ready to embrace collaborative tools and those who are still reluctant. A recent event is being used as the example of both camps. Two students were working on a collaborative product. One student plagiarised content. The other student pleads ignorance of the activity. On one hand, Student A must be held responsible for their actions as defined by the current Student Handbook (zero on assignment). But what about Student B? Is Student B telling the truth? As the product was collaborative, is Student B accountable for all Student A's decisions?

As I have said before, I really think it comes down to control. In the case above, do we want to control "crime and punishment" and student behavior? Or can we let go and let the grey areas of life play out? If students are allowed to access collaborative tools (electronic or not) the teacher is no longer the center of the process - the students are creating content and directing the learning for good and bad. This is a scary turn of events and one that flies in the face of how most of us were educated and taught to be educators.

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