School change: Push versus pull, My Kids Turn

by Steve Wyckoff on May 18, 2010

I’ve been reading a lot lately about how our world is changing from a “push” approach, to a “pull” approach. I’ve heard a couple of good examples of the old “push” method, TV and education. The TV executives make a command decision about which programs you get to watch. What day they are on, what time they are on, and if they will continued be on.

In the “pull” world you set your DVR and watch it whenever you want, furthermore, you can fast-forward through the commercials if you want. But the real “pull” world is YouTube. You can search for almost anything, and watch at any time, just about anything you want. There are no elites deciding what you get to see when you get to see it, it’s all up to you.

Another good example of the old-style “push” world is education. Our students are told what they have to take, when they have to take it, with very little if any choice. We have elite individuals who have decided what THE “standards” need to be for every child, and most of our curriculum in K-12 schools is mandated by colleges.

I’m very proud of the project my colleagues at ESSDACK have launched. It is truly a “pull” approach. The name of the project, and the website, are My Kids Turn. Each of the six programs, soon to be expanded to 10, contains video clips designed to help parents with the educational needs of their kids.

Jane Seward’s channel is called Magic Spell, and is intended for parents who want help their children become better spellers. Michelle Flaming’s channel is called By The Numbers, and is designed to give parents strategies to help their kids understand and love math. Reneé Smith and Jaime Hendricks team up on Just Deserts. Just Deserts gives parents table games that can be played with their kids at meal time, that support and enrich their learning at school.

Jodi Case has developed Learn, Grow, and Bloom, which is designed for parents with toddlers through pre-school with language and speaking, build pre–reading and math skills. Great Games, Better Brains is produced by Glenn Wiebe and Jaime Hendricks and helps parents explore the wild and woolly world of video games for their children, from an educational point of view. And finally, Kevin Honeycutt is featured in Raising Digital Kids. Kevin is a national presenter who often speaks on Internet safety and the use of technology by kids.

We are betting that, in the 21st century, the world will continue becoming a “pull” world. We believe that the use of “pull” approaches to learning will lead to real school change. Check out the website and see what you think. Can you imagine your school, or your classroom, or your children’s learning experience becoming customized and individualized through new technologies? – Steve Wyckoff

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