Google Rules

As I have mentioned before, I have been reading What Would Google Do ? by Jeff Jarvis. I have finally finished and have been thinking how it applies to public education and specifically to Paris Cooperative High School. In the book, the author talks about “new rules for a new age”. That technology has made so many things “turn upside down”. I wonder, how do these rules affect us in the learning world? I want to illustrate a few of these rules over the next few weeks. ( I am really hoping to get some input here folks! Those of you who tell me what you think need to add to the discussion here in this venue. No reasonable comments will be refused. Well meaning criticism is encouraged!)

Jarvis’ rule number 1: “Customers are now in charge. They can be heard around the globe and have an impact on huge institutions in an instant.” Is this true for schools? Before you say no, think about it for a little bit. Is that a good thing? We have been a closed system in education for a long time. I am not sure we value student/parental/community input the way we need to. So many times I think we recoil when we anticipate negative feedback coming from the public. In reality, when we receive negative feedback, especially in first person, we need to realize those folks are really trying to help us be better! How can we harness the input from parents to make high school education more meaningful and relevant for our students. I want to create a parent/community/faculty advisory committee for PCHS and will be sending out invitations for people to join. If you want to join the committee let me know by calling or sending me an email @ phsprincipal@gmail.com .

5 thoughts on “Google Rules

  1. Dave,

    I'll be eager to follow the discussion myself. As an academic now, I'm most interested in the topic.

    A few links of possible interest:

    The videos here I find compelling, especially the last:
    http://www.buzzmachine.com/2009/02/17/hacking-education/

    A few months ago, I went to a great event put on my a New York venture capital firm called "hacking education." There's a transcript here:
    http://www.unionsquareventures.com/2009/03/hacking_educati.html

    – jeff

  2. First thing, I would like to be on this committe, which is big because I am not a big "committee guy". I went to a session down in Atlanta about parental involvement by Dave Shepherd (probably misspelled the last name). Anyway, he gave us a packet of ways to increase parental involvement, and I think there are some great ideas in there that we can use.

    When thinking about this topic, I can't help but think that it is going to take us going out and grabbing these parents to drag them in to get involved until we can change the perception of the school-parent/community relationship. As proof, look no further than our recent open house. I learned the following day that I had students in the building with their parents that did not come visit me in my room because I was not giving extra credit or homework passes.

    The upside to this is the trend I have seen for the parents of freshmen to be a little more willing to show up for these events. Another session I attended was about Freshmen Academies. One thing they talked about doing was focusing a lot of energy and attention on the parents. If we can get them to buy in from day one by making them feel like they truly are an equal partner in their student's education, we have a far greater chance of keeping them involved over the next four years.

    Again, I have run long, but I had a lot to say. Sue me.

  3. I'd like to be able to meet with every freshmen and their parents, and try to plan out their high school career based on their performances in previous years, their standardized test scores, what interests they have, what careers they might be interested, and what goals their parents have for them.

    I'd also like to get in on this

  4. I also think that parental involvement is very important, and I'd like to see more of it at the high school level. It would be nice to have parents and community members in our school more often, and it would be great if we had some on this new committee.

    With that being said, I'd like to respond to another part of this post. I believe receiving input from parents is extremely important, but I bristle at the thought of equating this to "customer service." I think the parent-teacher relationship is (or should be) more fluid than that. Viewing parents and/or students as customers downplays their role in the educational process.

    Now, I don't know how I would define this relationship instead. I just know that I've worked in customer service before, and I would hate to think that accurately describes the teacher-parent/student/community relationship.

  5. Good point Shannon! It must go way beyond customer service. We need to allow the stakeholders to help us mold what we will become. In the book, Jarvis gives the example of how the customers saved Dell by giving it feedback. We must be more than folks who try to make the customer feel served, but we need to allow them to shape the product. I totally agree with you. Thanks for posting!

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