The internet is the platform. Let me make that declaration.
I’ve spent the last four weeks trying to build the framework for technology at Island Pacific School, trying to figure out which tools we’ll have the students use for producing documents, spreadsheets, video, images, podcasts and so on. And then I tried to figure a way to put this all in one bucket using Moodle or Google sites or something like that. There are plenty of options in each category, but the staff and I felt it important to choose one and make it the school standard or default tool.
But after a couple good conversations with @pamcoun @prawsthorne and @chriscorrigan I thought, “Who cares?” Working on the web is not about putting content somewhere, it’s about connecting it. I don’t think it matters where or how a student produces and shares a video, using Kaltura or iMovie, as log as they make one and show it to me. After all, I don’t ask all of you to put your content in a convenient format or place for me to read; I go out and connect it myself using RSS, FriendFeed and so on. Or I let the web sort out the translation problems–my browser will let me watch all kinds of video formats. So why should I ask my students to work within specific platforms?
I couldn’t find a satisfactory answer to that question. The need to standardize seems tied up with ideas of control, not good pedagogy, and whenever that issue comes up we need to ask where is the locus of control in the school and does that get in the way of good teaching? So, going forward from my declaration that the internet is the platform, the first thing I’m going to do when classes start again in the fall is let my students decide which tools to use for any given task. The only criteria is that we can somehow connect the content together.