I’ve been reading Will Richardson’s posts on DOPA at weblogg-ed.com and thinking about the role of education for the public and the community at large. Generally, people don’t support what they don’t understand. It seems few ask questions and research before making a decision, thinking of the old adage “better safe than sorry”. It’s disturbing to me, but not surprising, to think that our leaders would vote overwhelmingly to deny access to students without considering all of the ramifications.
So who is in the ear of the legislators? In the political game, we have to know what the rules are and to play by them to get things done. Who has a powerful voice and understands the political game?
As more teachers learn about the meaningful applications for students and professional growth, word of their success will reach the unions. The unfortunate point is that so few teachers, at least in our area, really know about blogging and social networking other than myspace. I think our teachers’ unions, nationally and locally, are a resource we should include in the discussion. Any ideas on their standpoint or involvement? I’ve tried to stay abreast of the issues through NYSUT and AFT publications, but can’t recall this as a discussion point.
If teachers contact their unions and if there’s enough interest, they may be an invaluable resource to protecting this access. I hope it’s an issue they are already aware of and working on. I also hope it won’t be too late.