Sunday, February 04, 2007

Are We Doing The Right Thing?

Dotherightthing.com has built a digg-like community that shares information about the social impacts of companies and organizations. Dotherightthing is a place where people, supposedly, influence companies to do the right thing. Everyone, including activists and company representatives, are encouraged to participate. The vision for dotherightthing is one that facilitates communication, not taking sides.

This is a great social experiment that I believe has much merit. In a similar light to Digg.com, users rate articles based on how important they think the issue is. Once more users get on board, perhaps the issues will gain better balance. Right now, for example, the one about Myspace beginning to issue Amber Alerts is rated at 2.7+ where the Dunkin’ Donuts committed to using only Fair Trade Espresso beans back in 2003 rates at 2.6+.

If there were an educational dotherightthing version, what would be the issues that would gather the highest rating? Here's my nominations for highest impact on education today:
  1. Teacher Training and Support and Retention (If we can invest in our teachers and give them the proper time, compensation and training, we can build tomorrow's teachers today, we can train teachers to understand the impact of standardized testing and how to properly teach for understanding using not only technology but good old "heart.")
  2. Communication (Are we encouraging true conversations between students/teachers, teachers/administrators, parents/schools? Or are we encouraging constant self-censorship to the point where we are all learning to effectively "work" the technologies to simply document and cover ourselves.) Students are blogging, Digging, texting, gaming, chatting, etc. Are schools embracing these methods of communication or blocking them?
What would be #3?

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