I stumbled across a great piece from Joichi Ito in the New York Time’s entitled “Innovating by the Seat of Our Pants” that focuses on innovation and the Internet beginning with this powerful sentiment:
“The Internet isn’t really a technology. It’s a belief system, a philosophy about the effectiveness of decentralized, bottom-up innovation. And it’s a philosophy that has begun to change how we think about creativity itself.”
And this is one difficult belief system to instill in schools where the Internet is most often seen as yet another tool – a place to visit, a tool to use at designated times. Instead, what we needs is to foster a shift to which the Internet becomes a living, breathing part of education and shifting away from centralized instruction to “a process establishing oneself as a node in a broad network of distributed creativity” (Ito).
But there are schools embracing the Internet as more than a tool – schools like the one led by Jason Markey who recently wrote “It’s not just the web… It’s the WEB!“, which echoes Ito’s sentiments about the Internet as a belief system. And this belief system is important because “choosing the web is choosing opportunity for our students” (Markey).
Because those opportunities that Markey speaks about when Internet is more than a tool are at the heart of something bigger than where we stand today as Ito says so eloquently:
“Neoteny, one of my favorite words, means the retention of childlike attributes in adulthood: idealism, experimentation and wonder. In this new world, not only must we behave more like children, we also must teach the next generation to retain those attributes that will allow them to be world-changing, innovative adults who will help us reinvent the future.”
Don’t you think? And if so, how do we shift mindsets in schools to see the opportunities afforded by Internet are maximizes when it becomes a belief system that runs through the core of the community? How do we encourage a deeper discussion centered on the idea that the Internet represents a future minded classroom?