…which is how in god’s name can we talk seriously about 21st Century
skills for kids if we’re not talking 21st Century skills for educators
first? The more I listened, the less I heard in terms of how we make
the teaching profession as a whole even capable of teaching these
“skills” to kids. Sure, there were mentions of upgrading teacher
preparation programs and giving teachers additional time in the school
day to collaborate, etc. But the URGENCY was all around the kids.
Shouldn’t the URGENCY be all about the teachers right now?
I am absolutely shocked at the lack of technology use by
technology coordinators. I’ve
been to several technology coordinator meetings, there will usually be
30 or 40 tech coordinators in the room, and as I scan the audience,
there are only a handful taking notes into their computer. Most are
writing on yellow legal pads! Maybe I’m using technology for
technology’s sake, but I respectfully disagree in this example. By
putting my notes in electronic format I’m already going to be able to
easily file and more importantly find this information at a later date.
This extends to the eTech Ohio Conference this past February. It seems
that most teachers and
technology staff, while promoting
the virtues of technology integration, don’t use it themselves. When you
start mentioning RSS, Twitter, Wikis, a lot don’t have any clue what
you’re talking about. At least most know what blogging is now.
What’s the solution? Teachers
need to be shown how, at the very least, technology can save them time.
If technology can save a teacher 10 minutes a day, that 1,830 minutes of
the course of the school year, or 30.5 hours. Even if they need a 4 hour
training on how to save those ten minutes, they still come out ahead! I
believe that once they see that the computer is supposed to save them
time as opposed to taking more time, it will ease further staff
Technology Coordinators, you need
to be guiding the administrators and teachers in your district. If you
don’t use technology, then there is less incentive for anyone else to
use it. Automate repetitive tasks. Use RSS. Setup a blog. Subscribe to a
You need to lead.
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