i’m afraid

05 Feb

after reading an article that a colleague pointed me in the direction of, i’m all of a sudden a bit fearful. why do people wear their intolerance of technology on their sleeve like a badge of honor? why do we feel that the people who refuse to learn to check their email is something to chuckle about? we shake our heads and give a little smile the same way we would if a kid said “the darndest thing”. i’m not talking about people who embrace technology but feel more comfortable wading into the pool rather than jumping off the high dive. i’m talking about the people who see technology as a means of communication as nothing more than a passing fad; the people who truly believe that if they ignore it long enough it might just go away and we can get back to the old reliable pencil and paper. i’m fearful because as someone who works in education it’s just not good enough anymore. it’s not a matter of preference, it’s a matter of communication. the conversation in education in regards to technology quickly turns to how a teacher can speak the same language as their students if they are not embracing the technological means that their students use to live their lives. it has become an exercise in futility, where one side seeks to ban the tools that the other side uses as a means to make sense of the world around them. it certainly is an interesting time. as someone new to professional development it has created quite a conundrum, from what i have observed. i view the situation the same way i view the idea of using creativity in the classroom. as a teacher it was my job to elicit creativity from the students that i taught, to draw it out of them and allow them to be in situations where creativity was a must. it would have been impractical and counterproductive for me to try and “out creative” my students. it would have done no good for me to stand up in front of them and be the most creative person in the world, but then asked them to be uncreative in what they were doing. the trick seemed to be (and i’m just speaking from experience here) to have them practice using the tools, creativity in this case, and then put them in situations where they were asked to make use of them. technology is no different. as a teacher i could have the most amazing uses of technology, but if my students aren’t taught to use those tools and then put in situations where they make use of them, i would have been doing them a disservice. as with creativity, teachers who lack the understanding and/or appreciation for what technological tools are out there are going to fail to allow their students the opportunities they need in the classroom to be successful. so the conundrum seeming to be that professional development in education is totally reliant on the middle man, so to speak. the professional learning that a teacher takes part in needs to be so powerful, so profound that that it will be filtered down to the students. if the professional learning experience doesn’t inspire that teacher, the students will not see the benefits. so i’m back doing exactly what i was doing with creativity, practice the tools and put them in situations where they need to use them.

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1 Comment

Posted by on February 5, 2009 in Uncategorized


One response to “i’m afraid

  1. cheryl

    February 20, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    When you get an opportunity, read my post regarding a tech dinosaur in my training last evening. It’s exactly what you are talking about!


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