Many people in Africa never had land line phones, and they never will.

Fixed versus Mobile telephone subscribers per 100 Africans

By the time large-scale telephone services were in demand the technology had already advanced enough enabling African countries to leapfrog over the old technology of copper wires to wireless technologies.

Transcontinental telephone lin... Digital ID: 97760. New York Public Library


I can regale you with stories of a party-line at my grandmother’s house, or chart of the evolution of the phone number parallel to my family tree. However, none of that makes me an expert on the current use-case(s) for the present technology.


That could mean a couple of things; maybe it means I’ve been thinking on the idea for an extended period of time, or it means I could be stuck in the past.

Some equate historical knowledge of a thing

with current expertise of that thing.

You know, like education.

So why does it feel like there is a disconnect between what we say on social media and at conferences and what we experience when we get back to our districts/schools?

  • It could be because everyone went to school. Most consider themselves either a winner at school or a loser. The winners do not have much reason to change a system which validates them, and losers rarely have authority to propose much change. Everyone seems to have history with education.
  • A large segment of our leaders are members of an age group which never taught with technology. Their success in education was never amplified by technology like our current generation of classroom teachers. Who can blame them for their failure of imagination?
  • There is money to be made in the status quo of the textbook based education business model. The big education publishers might revise offerings or products, but remain invested in harvesting dollars from our K12 systems. Through advertising and lobbying of politicians they work to make sure they maintain a slice of the pie.

So what can we do?

  •  We need to patiently educate parents/community members we come in contact with about how different technologies and techniques can augment what they consider “school.” An excellent way you can start from your classroom is to offer an updated syllabus like this one. Little wins over the course of a long game.
  • Another long game prospect, we have to wait out for some administrators to age out. It is not that an old dogs cannot learn new tricks, but whether they even understand why they should learn them. While they may have forgotten more than we know right now, technology will not be a transparent part of education while some people still have to “learn technology.”
  • Fight the good fight against giving money to the big education publisher where we know there is a better way to accomplish our task. This foe may be the most important to defeat as the flow of big publisher money supports future big publisher spending and retards the advancement of teacherprenuers.

What do you think?