Il blog di Antonio Tombolini

The time is ripe for the digital school, even in Italy


The news itself is really non-news: the right and left wings are united and eagerly at work to purge the Digital Agenda currently under discussion in the Senate of any and all elements that could really drive the transition to digital systems in schools.
The new and important revelation, however, is the motivation behind the umpteenth attempt by leading publishers of the educational publishing industry, in unquestionable and now unsustainable conflict of interest with their own clients (students, families, teachers), to impede this process. How do they do it? They inform us through parliamentary mediators in perfect bipartisan harmony, NOW they tell us we have to switch to digital!
The first reaction is an outcry of anger, one feels literally like they’re being taken for a fool, and with such nerve that would provoke unseemly reactions from anyone: WHAT?!? EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE, has been talking about school and digital technology for at least ten years, and now you come and tell us that you didn’t have enough time to get ready for this turning point? You, who are actually in the business, are the only ones who did something else and didn’t deal with this issue? At least show a little respect for us by telling us the truth: You’re just trying to defend, once again, the price-fixing scheme that has made you rich for decades. What’s wrong with that? We could even understand that. But why do you so crudely insult our intelligence?
And that’s not all. The anger mounts at the thought of the umpteenth materialization of that betrayal of the intellectuals, representing the apparently inevitable condemnation of the strongest and purest of intellectuals. The fact that it’s this or that senator who’s diffusing such a ridiculous, sleazy and offensive justification, well, nowadays we’re ready to take that into account. What should we say, however, when supporting such a sophisticated position we find no other than the digital school Champion, the renowned Professor Paolo Ferri who has focused on these topics for years, and who has built his academic career on these very issues, as well as his success as an author and key lecturer for anyone in Italy wanting to engage in the subject? (If you’re not familiar with him, google him, and read one of his books, it’s worth it).
Well, listen to him now, right now when it comes down to the crunch:

“but how will publishers be able to bring about this revolution in the brief passing of winter, while maintaining a sufficient level of quality at a
time of deep economic crisis?”

And what pedantic elegance in that “in the brief passing of winter…“, isn’t it delightful?
The anger however, my friends, is still wrong. Clarity and compassion, this is what we need in order to create and construct.
Clarity suggests that if these are the justifications for additional postponements and delays, then this means that yes, we’re nearly there, and now is the right time to accelerate, invest and propose. So, as of today, my company will start working on the school as well, willing as always to collaborate with anyone, big or small, who wants to invest with us in this direction.
Compassion suggests that it won’t be easy for anyone: everyone, from students to teachers, families to publishers, will be involved in a long-term process of radical innovation. For this reason, my publisher friends, don’t fall into the golden trap of our key intellectuals, nor in that of your sound (but here unusable) business sense. And let’s get to work, together.

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Il blog di Antonio Tombolini