I've been mixing it a bit with these International School types in my online meanderings via twitter and Skype and it is certainly another world that they inhabit facility and resource wise compared to the average Aussie government school. Talented educators and bloggers like Kim Cofino, Jeff Utecht, Susan Sedro and Clay Burell (amongst many others) are innovative and important voices to be listening to when it comes to practical application of what web based tools can actually do and enable in the real classroom. In fact, my teaching next door neighbour, Annabel, is off to China next term to take up her own opportunity in a Beijing International School. So I love reading what they are doing and how they are embedding technology into their teaching and learning experiences for their students.
But I am a realist in that my resources here (and we are better off than a lot of schools in this state) don't allow for the same take up and push that my IS colleagues can manage. As I am a fan of the metaphor, this one keeps in perspective for me on days like today as I try to get my kids working on their global project and working on some new tools with potential when the broadband is slow, the 2 year old computers struggle and the mandated Internet Explorer 6 that is preferred for our education system wreaks havoc with uploading of images, adding of audio and easy access to worthwhile resources.
"It's easy to drive fast in a Ferrari."
I've seen the futuristic Media Centres, the laptop rollouts and the conferences in China. These guys are lucky to be working in these amazing environments, the Ferraris of 21st century education.
At times, it feels more like a hotted up Monaro...