On November 17, I presented before officers of the NEA and members of the NCSEA for Knowledge Works about their Map of Future Forces Affecting Education - on the "HotSpot" of Deep Personalization - along with the dilemma of standards and standardization - and with the educational ideas of participatory pedagogy and personalized learning plans. Researching the preso was about the most engrossing educational fun in some time - considering this idea of how people express their strong opinions and "do-it-yourself" motivation in ways that eschew traditional institutions, including education. Web 2.0 provides one means for this deep personalization, but by far not the only one - bumper stickers, tatoos, and lots more provide ways to express personal feelings and opinions as well. Through lots of use of Jing Project we looked at Harry Potter Fan Fiction, Voice Threads, uStream TV, and local newspapers with active "Comments" sections. With written permission of Buns and Chou-Chou (signed "hugs") from Rabbit Bites, we watched their interview of Andrew Keen author of "Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing our Culture" and grappled with what deep personalization in our society means to our classrooms and our roles as teachers and our own learning. We considered some schools offering project-based student-centered learning including Florida Virtual High School, Philadelphia's Science Leadership Academy, and Minnesota's Harborside International School.
Now I wish I could say this paragraph is how we came to solid consensus and conclusions, and were able to find the balance between deep personalization and standardization, but of course we would have had to spend considerably more than a day on this discussion. However, it was affirming to see this many educators willing to roll up their sleeves and consider ideas that are expected to have a profund impact on teaching and learning.