Today in a tech training seminar, a faculty member asked this question:“Why do we teach these technology skills? Aren’t they just fun and games? What are the students learning?”

Since I was not the one running the training session (and was rendered quite speechless by the question) I didn’t respond as I should have (or, in retrospect, as I would have liked to). But now that I’m at home, surrounded by the entire world of information at my fingertips, I realize that answering questions like this is part of my job. I have been reading so much lately, but I haven’t stopped to take the time to compile, analyze and share what I’ve learned with others. This is an essential piece of the puzzle. I can, and should, be a representative of the tech-savvy educators to share what I learn in order to help other teachers learn about the future of education.

So, I’ve started by spending several hours of working on my wiki, especially this page. All of which was inspired by the following events…

A few weeks ago, this post popped up in my RSS reader, which, of course, prompted me to watch this video. Then I found this amazing PowerPoint presentation by Karl Fisch and this video from Bionic Teacher. All of these multimedia presentations are so powerful and compelling, yet so simple, clear and hard to resist. This is the message we need to be sending to educators that are scared of something new. We can’t simply turn our backs on the future just because we don’t really know what it is. I know how I feel when I am faced with adamant tech-resistance in meetings. I imagine if this were my teacher:

  • What if they determined what I learn?
  • What if they determined how I can share what I learned?
  • What if they determined how I can grow and develop as a learner?

As an adult, I’m responsible for my own learning. But as teachers, we are responsible for our students’ learning. I feel a responsibility for educating all of these students. I want them to be able to experience these new tools in as many classes as possible. I want us to be reaching all of our students. I want us all to be on board. But how? I’m just another teacher. Yes, I am the tech integration specialist for the middle school, so I feel like I do have some responsibility, but I’m just not sure how much.

I read things like this post about how entire schools are instituting blogging. And posts like this, and this, from another international school in the same region that I’m in. Posts and comments like this from the US. And this, and this, also from the US. How do I get my school to look like these?

Today I read this post from Quentin D’Souza with many familiar points. And Susan Sedro recently wrote an entire post (based on one of my posts) about how to get started integrating these new tools. But how do I reach these other teachers? Is it even my responsibility? I know where my responsibility starts – at the students – and I am extremely excited and enthusiastic about what I am doing in my classroom – but, where does it end? How far can/should I be going? How do you do it?

5 thoughts on “Why are we doing this?

  1. You can tell your colleague that there are standards/benchmarks in technology that every child is supposed to meet. We are all responsible for ensuring that our students can meet those benchmarks.

    We got word from our state ed dept that the Federal government is going to expecting these standards to be met with proof. Consequently our state dept will be visiting our schools and we had better have proof if we want to continue to get the e-rating funding (?)

  2. This is an excellent point. And, of course, this is the most obvious reason. I guess I was trying to find a way to get others enthused about technology and to understand more about the educational benefits and possibilities technology holds…

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