With the start of the school year upon us, I have spent the bulk of my time getting things ready for my teachers and students. The mundane duties of resetting passwords, getting our new students and teachers up to speed on how to use the network and SIS have prevented me from keeping up to date on day to day issues in the news.
Now I've heard inklings about Obama's speech here and there but I have been amazed as to how heated discussions have become. That said, the extended labor day weekend has given me the opportunity to play catch up. So while reviewing my tweets, I came across Will Richardson's latest blog post The Obama Speech. He states, "It would seem to me that there should be no better place for my children to watch that speech (or any other, for that matter) than in a place where ideas are encouraged, where critical thinking about those ideas is a natural part of the conversation, and where appropriate response and debate can flourish."
Well that passage from his latest blog post tugged at me while making pancakes this morning and it prompted me to head to my netbook and start writing. I agree with Will 100%. What better place to scrutinize, discuss, and debate than in schools.
But I would like to take it to the next level. I want teachers to act on it, to reach out beyond their classrooms and expose their students to a variety of perspectives. Utilize your personal learning network(PLN) to discuss and debate with students from across the states or abroad. Expose your students to regional perceptions from across the the USA but don't stop there. The global community is clearly interested in what President Obama has to say, so why not ask interntational members of your PLN to contribute too.
Clearly, there is much more to gain from President Obama's speech than lose. Take advantage of the teachable moment. Start an etherpad doc, a voicethread, write a blog post, do a podcast or video editorial just do something but don't waste a good "crisis".