|This would have been a good sign in 1996|
This is 2010, the first year of the second decade of the 21st Century, and the school district in the photo above has decided that it is time to prepare for ten years ago. With a message like that, what student wouldn't be excited?
Fourteen years ago the campaign slogan for the winning American Presidential candidate was "Building a bridge to the Twenty-First Century." Twelve years ago the U.S. became obsessed with the arrival of the millennium. Hell, 46 years ago the New York World's Fair imagined the possibilities. Or, 48 years ago in Seattle...
1962 (before you were probably born)
"Now, for the third time, a new century is upon us, and another time to choose. We began the 19th century with a choice, to spread our nation from coast to coast. We began the 20th century with a choice, to harness the Industrial Revolution to our values of free enterprise, conservation, and human decency. Those choices made all the difference. At the dawn of the 21st century a free people must now choose to shape the forces of the Information Age and the global society, to unleash the limitless potential of all our people, and, yes, to form a more perfect union.
"The knowledge and power of the Information Age will be within reach not just of the few, but of every classroom, every library, every child.
"Yes, let us build our bridge. A bridge wide enough and strong enough for every American to cross over to a blessed land of new promise." - Bill Clinton, Second Inaugural
Anyway, if you did not know this was coming, you really have no business leading a school. It means that you have not been an aggressive learner yourself. It means that you have been wandering around with your eyes closed. And that is no way to be a role model for your students.
1986 (24 years ago - before all "traditional age" university students of today were born)
A few weeks ago a school superintendent told me about a "consultant" visiting one of her schools and asking the students about "twenty-first century learning." The students were baffled. What other century's learning would they be interested in? Even the high school seniors were just 8-year-olds at the end of the last century. This may be "new" to you, but it is as much a part of the world - or a bigger part of the world - than film and telegraphs and telephones and phonographs and photos in newspapers were in 1910.
1910 (100 years ago, way before grandpa was born) one Edison communications technology explains another
So please, let's stop pretending the present is the future. Let us re-imagine our schools so that the present begins to look like the future instead.
"not of dreams, but of realities"
- Ira Socol