It is hard to resist getting together to celebrate a birthday, watch a sporting event, or have a barbecue with friends, because you
know someone is going to present their best 7 layer dip. We have all had them, some better than others, but almost all have the same basic ingredients. Occasionally you will get a "new" layer in there, but in the end it doesn't really change the result and you still have the traditional 7 layer dip.
When we talk about adding technology to our classrooms we can create a new 7 layer dip, by simply adding a new layer to our existing practices, or create an entirely new dish that is nothing like the original. If we truly want to change the way that we currently do business and move towards a student centered classroom, we must move away from the practice of layering technology over our traditional style of teaching.
I recently read a blog post by Nick Sauers titled Message for publishers in which he shares a video he created for the Association of Educational Publishers conference. His video challenges publishers in the same way that schools are being called on to change.
I agree with Nick's challenge to the publishing companies, it is easy for them to simply move their existing textbooks to an electronic format. But simply moving the text to an electronic version will not transform the classroom or better prepare our students for today's world.
There is nothing easy about creating a new dish from scratch. Brainstorming ideas, gathering ingredients, learning new methods of mixing, cooking, and presenting, all are very challenging tasks. But when everything comes together, I believe we will end up with a brand new dish and the end result will be of far greater value to our students. Who knows, before long that old 7 layer dip may be nothing but a memory.
I would like to thank Nick Sauers for his post Message for publishers and the video he created. Also thanks to the How To Cook for Beginners website for their amazing 7 layer dip picture.