Failure to launch… it’s a complex problem, that can end with catastrophic results.
I have been hooked on these space analogies lately because they seem to fit the education space so well. The concept of “failure to launch” is one that is so real for us in classrooms across this nation.
The disastrous results that are outlined so profoundly in the video above equate to the struggle that many educators, schools, districts, and administrators, like myself, deal with on the regular. #thestruggleisreal
Imagine with me for a moment that our students are the rocket. Schools and districts play the role of design, engineering, manufacture. States and the Federal Government, they are command and control.
When these systems do not work together…
Are our systems aligned so that our students are Mars Ready?
I recently was speaking to a group of educators at the Future of Educational Technology Conference (FETC) in Orlando, Florida. During my talk I outlined, as I often do, that our students change by the second. They do that as a form of survival. The world around them changes so quickly that they are forced to adapt.
Sadly, one area that has greatest impact (and on in which they spend a great deal of time) on our children – schooling – has not really experienced major changes.
Lets look at recent history.
The United States launched the Space Shuttle Program into service in the early 1980s. Thousands of technological advancements took place in the decades that the program was in place. After the Program was shut down, private companies, driven by many young innovators, do things like this…
SpaceX… launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral and landed that same first stage rocket back to Cape Canaveral less than 15 minutes later.
My question is – are our schools and districts using systems that are build up the future innovators that will take us to Mars? Or, are we on a path to “failure to launch”?
Is your school or district getting your students #MarsReady?
Our schools and districts need to reflect on how we engage kids; how we immerse them in technology rich, problem-based environments; how we align systems to avoid “failure to launch”.
At the surface, there are easy things that we can do. Like I shared with my friends at FETC we can begin exploring tools that can engage students and help us take them to higher levels.
At deeper levels, these questions lead us to a path of reform. A path that will force us to reflect on how we do school.
A path that will prevent “failure to launch”?
Are our students #MarsReady?
And… will you help me get us there?
Michael Meechin, M.Ed.
Michael Meechin is a high school principal, writer and speaker. Mike works with schools and districts by providing grassroots professional development, high impact speaking topics, and consulting services on education reform initiatives. For more information check out our Work, or Contact Us.