Wednesday, January 21st, 2009...11:00 pm

Inaugural Inspiration….

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President Barack Obama on Tuesday included education as one of the country’s great challenges, indicating the topic may be a priority for him as he called for Americans to work together to transforms schools for the 21st century. “Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many,” Obama said in his speech. “Everywhere we look, there is work to be done. … We will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.”

A “new age” that uses a technique called back channelling to discuss, dialogue and contribute to the shared knowledge of a learning community. Back-channelling is the practice of using networked devices (computers, cellphones, iPods) to conduct real-time online conversations along side live presentations. In this way, students push one another to deepen their thinking.  They begin to assume greater ownership of the learning verses the traditional “spoon-feeding” of a lecture/note-taking delivery option.

In his inaugural address, President Obama says, ” In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things – ”

And so it is that I suggest as you embark upon this term of your educational journey that you will indeed need to work hard, to over come obtacles, and to take-risks in order to be successful. You will need discipline and perseverance. Now is the time for you to “re-make” your attitude and approach to your education.  Take charge, take responsibility and know that your VOICE matters.

Through embracing collaboration, innovation and participation eDCSD commits to supporting each learner on their individual journey.

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