I was thinking about how technology moves about in the field of education today. I realized that this aspect or our profession is constantly developing. As generations move up in age and level of education, they take with them the "old" technology. However, the newest technologies are not being experienced by our youngest students. They are experienced first by our university students it is from there that the technology trickles downward until it reaches primary and secondary schools. Doesn't that seem backwards?

Why is it that more teachers at the lower levels do not get a chance to integrate the latest technologies. I first used an Elmo in college. I first saw a Smartboard in college. I first saw the integration of web-based instruction in college. Unfortunately, many schools are just now seeing these things for the first time.

Anyway...that bothers me.

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Well, Ben, I am a fifth grade teacher with a SmartBoard, ordering an Elmo for next year, blogging with my students on David Warlick's class blogmeister, creating websites for and with my students, joining webinars online using Skype...did I miss anything? Also, I am not young (not old but a teacher who has been in my school longer than about 95% of the teachers in the building) but I am leading my colleagues (sometimes dragging them along) as I learn more and more about technology. The kids don't have to be dragged...they jump right in and teach me! So, for me and my class, it's all about elementary school.
I am getting my Masters in Integrating Technology in the Classroom. Several classmates are elementary teachers. Like you I am creating websites for my students. The more I learn, the more excited I become. I hope next year to have a classroom with a prometheus board. Funding for technology and providing proper training for teachers to effectively use the technology seem to be the biggest stumbling blocks. We all need to do more to engage our students and prepare them properly for the "real world"
My first day on C2.0, my first click on a forum and I struck gold! The Bubbl website is a great site to include in my upcoming session of "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Web" aka Web 2.0 .
RE: your comment, Why is it that more teachers at the lower levels do not get a chance to integrate the latest technologies. My experiences have been somewhat different. I see high school teachers as the last holdout, and I'm sorry to say often the English Dept comes at the top of that list. I work in overseas schools where many offer IB curriculum gr 11-12. What I hear frequently is, "I have to stick to the IB curriculum...I don't have time to insert technology or lessons using technology... I don't see how technology would make any difference, well maybe a projector would be ok."
So I guess I would ask, "Why is it that more teachers at the higher levels are so resistive to using technology?
Thanks to all for the great ideas on using Bubbl.
I also see secondary Lang Arts teachers holding out the most. However, I wonder if that's still because they're preparing for "pre-www" ACT/SAT testing procedures and requirements...which are directed by the universities! It's a shame. I work with gifted students and it seems we're all focused on prepping for college. *tsk, tsk*
That has not been my experience. I just finished an Ed Specialist program, and the only expectation for technology use was to pull a few articles to read from Moodle and make one discussion board post. I chose to use technology for most of my projects, but I was the only one. I was thinking that more focus on technology integration at the university level is needed. I know that many university programs do incorporate technology in meaningful ways, but certainly not all. Elementary students from my district could teach the professors in my program a thing or two.
What is an Elmo?
Anyway, I suspect that it is a money issue, and that historically, universities are the forefront of new movements in education.
That is true about universities being the forefront of new movements in education. However, why is it like that? Why don't more secondary teachers read the journals for our subject matters? Why don't we do more professional writing? Why are we not out there doing studies just like universities? Those companies who make all of the edu-gadgets would salivate at the thought of some school with a grant wanting to pilot a product. There are so many questions I have... We, those of us on Classroom 2.0, are the leaders in our field. How many teachers across the U.S. actively seek out professional blogs so that they can learn more? Very few. I cannot help but to think that our foundation has settled; if we don't fix it soon, the rift between the proteachers and the not-so-pro teachers is going to split our house in two.

(As a disclaimer, I am not saying I am a pro teacher... I am just a second year teacher... what do I know. I am just frustrated that more people do not get excited about the new opportunities we have to access such useful reflections as teachers.)
I was wondering the same thing! Is is this document camera system ? http://www.elmousa.com/presentation/
An Elmo is a tech tool. This can be WONDERFUL in that you no longer need to make transparancies, and you can also do all sorts of close demonstration work without having a big crowd around. For instance, you can put a fossil or a rock under there and close up on the tiny details, projecting the image on a screen for everyone to see.

I like it for large classes of students--which most of us have, but in my opinion, I'd like to have each kid looking closely at the rock him/herself.

You will be happy, I think, with many of the students coming along. In fact, they'll blow your mind.

I have the luxury of working at an Elementary school where kids start learning important aspects of technology in kindergarten. Their knowledge of techno-tools and general use of technology increases practically exponentially each year.

Lisa Parisi, in this forum posting, provides a great example of a teacher in Action. A LOT is happening.

The comments provided by others in this thread may be shared with many. When I see what students are getting in high school, I feel sad for the institutions--they'll die a death of meaninglessness. The high schools are often suffering from an utter lack of involvement on the students' part, and this will dramatically increase if directions don't change fast. The HS students I know are techno-savvy, but they have no guided integration for the technologies in the world of education. The technology they know and use is not used during the school day. These kids are caught in the middle--that abyss inbetween--in this learning "(r)evolution" (term seen on other forums in Classroom 2.0). Elementary schools and colleges seem to be more "with it."
Do the high school teachers on this network see this as a fair generalization?
Anyhow, the vision I have is that technology is not "drifting downwards" from colleges to elementary. From my view, the youngest learners are absorbing the skills, habits of use, and knowledge of potential the quickest of all.
Given their natural playfulness, it all makes sense. They do and will continue to carry upwards and outwards entirely new ways of learning.
Thanks for a thought-provoking post!
There in fact may be a divide happening (I won't go into the native/immigrant thing) although in our region, it is the college teacher prep programs that seem to be far behind with tech integration, and so we have this chasm of new teachers coming in with some personal experiences with tech but no practical pedagogy to back it up and an older gen of teachers who aren't quite sure what to make of it all, and then there is a small sector of the middle group who are using tech but are running into restraints of State Curriculum Frameworks.
But I am not depressed. :(
I think the energy and enthusiasm of the kids will be the impetus to get things moving and there is more professional development in tech and the curriculum, and as more people in a building explore and use it, the more others will ask questions.
This seems to me to raise two ideas:

We need to find better and more thorough ways of documenting what we are doing.
We need to be finding more ways to showcase to others what we are doing.

We know that, for the most part, this C 2.0 forum (wonderful, though it is) is the choir that doesn't need preaching to. You most likely would not be here if you didn't see some potential for tech tools in the classroom. But showing that to others is something WE need to be doing, too.

Take care



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