Is it o.k to be a technologically illiterate teacher?

24 11 2008

This is one to stir the pot a little.

This post was nominated as most influential post of 2007 in the edublog awards. I have included an excerpt of the post here but it is well worth having a look at the full post and the comments that are at the bottom of the post.

Is it o.k to be a technologically illiterate teacher?

I think there’s a general feeling among teachers (not all teachers, but many) that it’s okay to be technologically illiterate. It reminds me of when I was a math teacher. In about 80% of the parent conferences I had with students who were struggling, at least one of the parents would say “I was never any good at math either.” While I don’t doubt the truth of the statement, it was the fact that they said it and almost seemed proud of it that bothered me (and of course the message it sent to their student). I can’t imagine a parent saying “Oh, yeah, I never learned how to read” and being proud of it. It seemed like there was a different standard for math – not knowing math was socially acceptable, not knowing how to read was very unacceptable.

I sort of get the same feeling today about technology. It’s acceptable to say “I don’t really get computers” – and many people appear to be rather proud of their technological ignorance. And let me be clear, I’m not saying that technology is the end all and be all of education. As I think I’ve always tried to say, it’s just a tool to help us teach and learn and grow – but an indispensable tool. Technology is the underpinning of just about everything we do today – and especially so in relation to how we communicate with each other. And isn’t communication one of the essential ideas that runs through all of our disciplines? The fact that a large percentage of our staff is not only fairly comfortable in their ignorance, but apparently unwilling to make any effort to learn new things (I’m not just talking about Infinite Campus, I’m talking instructionally – and even personally), is really worrisome to me. So let me make a rather extreme statement for you to comment on.

If a teacher today is not technologically literate – and is unwilling to make the effort to learn more – it’s equivalent to a teacher 30 years ago who didn’t know how to read and write.

Extreme? Maybe. Your thoughts???

What do you think??





2 responses

25 11 2008
Mick Prest

I loved this when I read it and would love to be able to use it!!! When you work across a large system you find yourself being reluctant to “take people on”, relying on the coax from the front model of PD!! If I was in my own school and I could work with the community of teachers I would really like to take this stuff forward into Work Review etc.

I read this the other day:

“We have a long way to go…the steamroller is coming, and we can hear it now. We were way ahead of it before, but now it’s closing in on us…This change is way bigger than all of us. Technology is going to change it. This will happen. The change will happen.” George Lucas
(Sorry, I have forgotten all my HTML!!)

Keep leading the way!!! No pressure at all be we are all watching what you great guys do!!

26 11 2008

Thanks for your comment Mick.
A great insight from George Lucas also.

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