21st Centrury Classroom in the Hills of Dade City
Twenty miles north of Tampa, Fla., turning east on Hwy 52, flatwoods of evergreens and monotony give way to rolling hills turned cattle land and valleys that hold December morning mists and wax nostalgic for decades past when the kids in Dade City would be learning the skills of a ranching future.
But thanks to Abigail Kennedy and a progressive Pasco County School District, technology fills room 905 at Pasco High School, building strong 21st century skills, fueling students’ imagination with tools, growing content creators. Core English skills motivate these skills using video and audio production, still photography and Web literacy.
I spend most of my think-time building models of education system utopias, and on Tuesday, I walked into one. A room large enough for twenty plus kids to stretch their legs and imaginations. Books fill the walls and iMacs line the desks. A studio in the back with a laptop cart stores 15 Macbooks inviting all to be creators, one computer per child. The walls hold bumper stickers that promise students their dreams, success and freedom from injustice. The equipment empowers them to realize the slogans.
These digital natives take the tools for granted. They are accustomed to culture creation at their fingertips. But on the read/write Web, they are being bred writers, not just passive surfers. They are adding content to the Network, players in the Wikinomics that they will demand, unconscious of the change - just organically ushering in the next paradigm of everything.