Scott asks an excellent question.
Given the realities of our modern age and the demands of our children’s future, is it really ok to allow teachers to choose wether or not they incorporate modern technologies into their instruction?
The answer, of course, is no.
The reality, however, is that we give teachers – and many other normally intelligent adults in our society – a pass when it comes to learning and using even the most basic technologies.
One example is a closely related rant that’s been forming in my head this week.
Like many other organizations, our overly-large school district is converting formerly paper-based administrative processes to online, including the way community members can schedule rooms in our buildings.
In the past, someone would fill out a form (in triplicate, please) and submit it to a secretary in the front office. The secretary would then follow the required procedures and the space would be booked.
Now that the same process will be done using a web-based application, the department in charge of facilities believes that someone with technology in their title needs to be involved (namely our technology integration trainers).
In other words, the adult who used to process the paper is being excused from full responsibility now that a computer and browser is to be used instead.
The system is no more complicated than buying a book at Amazon, except that it’s even easier to correct mistakes!
Let’s face it. Effectively using technology as part of the teaching and learning process is a whole lot more complicated than processing forms in the front office.
However, if we establish the message that using a computer for even the simplest of tasks is only possible with an “expert” standing at your side, we may as well abandon any hope of technology making an impact on American education.