Jun 22, 2017
Beginning in the month of June, the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season will be upon us. Accordingly, weather forecasters along the U.S east coast will be sharing their predictions about each storm’s magnitude, its tracking, and its duration. Based on these predictions, property owners in the storm’s direct path will secure their homes by boarding-up their windows, while others will leave their residences to seek higher ground away from the shoreline. Those living in less affected areas will prime their generators fearing loss of electricity, and stock-up on supplies at the local grocery store to weather the storm. Needless to say, most Americans having good judgment will make preparations knowing they will be in the path of a hurricane.
Not so in k-12 education. While school leaders and education policy makers are focused on the here and now (making only incremental improvements in the ways students are taught), the k-12 enterprise as a whole is not making sufficient preparations for the technological storm surge ahead. While scientists and economists predict significant changes in the way people will live and work 20 years from now, many k-12 leaders appear to be oblivious to their forecasts. This gives the appearance that the education community is content to ride out this storm in the solitude of its antiquated institutional bunkers while each wave of the Fourth Industrial Revolution reshapes the global economy and social landscape.
Knowing that a Tschool-nami is on the imminent horizon, education leaders should start preparing now before it is too late. At a minimum, the k-12 community should check its flashlights to see if new batteries are needed (or have some good-old candles in reserve) so that, when the storm hits, education leaders will not have to fumble their way through dark school corridors until the first crack of daylight. I, for one, would hate to see our unprepared k-12 public schools boarded-up and abandoned in the wake of this storm.
Robert J. Harris (@edudexterity) is the Founder of Edudexterity.