It was once a well repeated mantra that was drilled into the heads of bright newly minted teachers at faculties or school of education that: "If you teach the way you always teach year after year, you will get what you have always gotten". I have found that there is a great deal of truth to that mantra but there is always a corollary to that which implies that: "If you innovate in teaching year after year, what you will get will be students who are intrigued, delighted, engaged and shocked." Why shocked?? When students start their education, they are inquisitive, creative and eager to learn more and more. However, as they progress through the "SYSTEM", they learn not to expect more than their prescribed programming. By the time students reach junior high, they are jaded, disappointed, stressed out young people who quickly learn that the system has built them a prison which they can not leave until they demonstrate that they can repeat back all that the those invisible people in the Ministry of Education say must be regurgitated.
If this seems cynical and a cold condemnation of school systems, try seeing it day after day from the students who are trapped in the system which systematically deletes anything that does not fit the mold. Should students lose heart and just go through the motions?
No, enter the cyber world of education. The important thing is not to re-create the system that exists in the brick and mortar schools! With the virtual world and the tools that are available to young people, the creativity that they had when they started school can once again be re-kindled and grow to the benefit of all society. How you ask with noted incredulity?? Stay tuned for Part II.