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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

just an analogy from the suburbs

just an analogy from the suburbs

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Up until a few days ago I would have said that my endeavors in the world of soccer and my work in school technology have almost nothing in common. Then I started to think about that. It’s an odd thought I admit; what does soccer have in common with school technology? But there it was, stuck in my head, waiting for me to devote precious brain cells to its analyses. On the one hand soccer is this demanding activity that flashed into the American scene in the late 70’s. Trying to follow a soccer game requires either simply watching the score board for changes or years of experience. Soccer’s growth has been pushed by a unique combination of a strong global connections, young talent and suburban influences. While there is still a healthy percentage of our population that “don’t get” soccer; there is no denying its power and influence over today’s students.  On the hand there is technology. Tech is this consuming thing that pushed into our lives as I was starting high school. Trying to keep up with the newest innovations and idea in technology is either as simple as reading the Best Buy adds, or requires years of study and good guesses. Technology growth has been fostered by global efforts, suburban dollars, and young minds. While there may always be a piece of our demographic that doesn’t like technology, there is no denying the influence and versatility it has given our students.    After careful analyses and the consumption of surprisingly few brain cells, I have found several more things that these two diverse subjects have in common: It is not soccer that I care about really. It is the exercise, team building and work ethic that it offers kids that I want. I could have found that in other places but soccer was what my kids wanted. Technology is just a tool in our school. What I want is the connections, and multimedia diversity that technology offers the learner in our school. This exists in other forms but my students like using technology. Good soccer is made with thousands of hours of work off the pitch. The only way to get the best out of this game is to put in the time and train. Good technology is made because of the work on the back end of the machine. The only way to get the best out of technology is to train, train, train. Soccer is a tool for lifelong activity: As well as an international conversation starter soccer is something that can be followed, and played throughout life. It is a way to keep active and connected. Technology is a tool of lifelong learning: By far and away the greatest strength of technology is its power to individualize instruction. It offers us the power to learn what we want, at our pace, in the format we like best. (Just a couple more commonalities to throw at you.) • Both soccer and technology use too many initials: MLS, HTTP, WMV, JPEG, ELP,EFAF, PDL, and CONCACAF • Both soccer and technology are populated with people who think they are experts but are not. • The two most common topics or themes for senior project in the U.S. are… you guessed it.

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