In Children of the Corn, kids murder people to satisfy their leader, "He Who Walks Behind the Rows". But HWWBtR is offended by their most recent offerings, so one boy, Isaac, decides to lower the age of sacrifice from nineteen to eighteen.
And "He Who Walks Behind the Rows" is a happy fella. And at some level, we're happy, too. Because once you put aside their murderous ways, you find yourself applaudingthese nefarious rug-rats for developing a pin-point, concrete age for sacrifice.
If only we could get, like Isaac provides, a 21st Century Learner to cite the year of their inception. I've read from a colleague that 1994 might be the exact date, although I'm curious to know the month.
But I'm not quite ready to grab that rock over there and chisel in a 21st Century Learner inception date. Additionally, I'd advise that we focus our efforts more on what's in front of us rather than playing the equivalent of the guess- how- many- jellybeans- are- in- the-plexiglass game.
Guessing the date is good ole' PETE&C fun, but it sure won't provide any of us with a forward direction that can help with creating professional development or solid instructional design.
Interest in when they arrived can't survive as an air-borne issue, but grappling with what it means to be a learner is of far greater import. We label our students and our own children as 21st Century Learners, but we're tossing the term 'learner' around their cherubic necks when they're still a nascent lot.
No overt journalisitic moment of discovery is needed to report that our students are heavily entrenched in the read-write, share and share alike web. Most come to our schools and don't need us to teach them a 'how-to'. They are adroit navigators on their own.
But are they learning from the use of these sites? Are they honing their analytical skills? Are they refining their ability to synthesize? Are they considering audience or are they just preening for one?
Remember your bedroom when you were in high school? Those posters of Farrah Fawcett or Marky Mark scotch-taped to your walls? Or over there, over your desk, the cork board replete with ticket stubs from concerts and movies and sporting events you attended...remember those?
Your room swathed in adolescent artifacts.
It was your space. You knew it as 'my space'.
Welcome to MySpace.
We're all still learning.
Say 'no' to born on dates.