Kate Nowak put herself in harm’s way this school year, teaching directly between:
- the edublogosphere’s Leading Thinkers, those insisting that little else stands between Kate’s students and meaningful 21st-century learning except Kate herself, and
- reality, where Verizon doesn’t cover her school, where her digital natives don’t have cell phones, where few have encountered a blog in the wild.
It’s impossible to have been a bystander in this struggle and not share her elation in her recent post titled I Finally Used the Cell Phones for Something, that “something” being a school-wide scavenger hunt, with students using cameraphones and MMS to verify their checkpoints.
Kate doesn’t claim this is any kind of monument to 21st-century learning. But she is slowly and deliberately recruiting her students’ personal technology for academic use, introducing them gradually to implementations of that technology that our Leading Thinkers assume need no introduction.
That struggle has come at considerable cost to Kate’s morale, as is fairly obvious from her grim, recent tweets. Let’s applaud her efforts, therefore, and encourage her to seize the rest of winter break for recovery. Education doesn’t have enough pragmatic adventurers to spare.