How many of us practice what we preach? Do you create videos to share with others? Do you podcast? Have you used Whiteboard or some other collaboration tool? Do you blog on a regular basis and have a network? Is technology a part of your life outside of school? Working with these tools is more than just using them in the classroom. As new things evolve, are we looking at ways to incorporate?

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As far as I can tell, yes many teachers really are that "out of touch". I think that, at least where I come from, school policy is to blame. Teachers have so much to do anyway, so few spare minutes that unless they "catch the bug" the only way they are going to start using technology is when someone makes them.
You're asking a good question, and it has promoted many thoughtful replies. Thanks for bringing this up!
One of the keys in this age of qualitatively new educational technologies is presentation of self as learner. This may mean, and very often does mean, personal use of applications and sharing of productions. Yet there's another side of who we are as educators that should be added into the mix. It doesn't really matter if we personally know or use any particular application--what matters is that we nurture an environment, a learning climate, in which knowledge is shared. Climate is more important than know-how.
I used to think I had to be "one page ahead of the kids" at least--
but that was in the old days.
Now I'm comfortable with my job of expressing awe and appreciation at what the kids know, share, and teach me--and their classmates. I'm not the "one who knows and shows how." With regard to technology, I'm Chief of Creation of a Positive Learning Climate. I learn with the kids, and use my skills as an educator to show how to learn by learning out loud, alongside the other learners.
I'm the one who provides tinder and kindling. I keep the fire burning, and watch over the warmth of the environment.
Oh yeah--being playful, and laughing a lot--those help, too.
Computer technology is overlooked in many of our elementary schools (can you guess I'm an elementary teacher). Sports seems to get the lion share of dollars in my district yet onlu a small fraction of 1 percent ever make it to the professional level. I do think that sports is important but I also feel we put too much empasis inthis area. In my district, we use to have computer teachers in every elementary school to meld content with technology but these programs were dismantled when we went on austerity and never brought back. What a shame because my district actually went backwards while I read about so many other districts moving ahead with smartboards, video conferencing, etc. So it's up to me to make it happen with practically no support from my district.
Ultimately, you need people who care to make effective change and some districts are just too lazy to get involved and put the onus on the teacher to bring these technologies into the classroom. If you look how our children score in math and science compared to other countries it's easy to see that we need effective change to create a new paradigm for educating our children. I believe technology is at the forefront of the changes that need to be addresses but until we get politicians, and the public to care we will do business as usual and eventually lose our edge in the global market. Teachers form the spirit and minds of our future leaders and until the general public understands and appreciates our roles as educators our youth will be short changed.
I guess that the pendulum has swung in a new direction. With the focus on obesity and the weight problem in North America, we are beginning to pour money into that area. Getting active, being active, staying in shape and reducing our collective weight is beginning to take the stage. In many areas, the technology focus of a few years ago is slipping to the sidelines. Education has a bad habit of doing this too often. We pour our money into the different areas but don't ever see these areas to fruition. Sports is important because of the $ involved for those who make it and parents get $ signs in their eyes. It tells us what the public sees as really important!
Allen: I don't think it's cool to highack a thread with self promotion. Certainly you can be more creative in hawking your services. Just think how degraded this site would be if every few posts were spam.
Kelly: I think obesity in children is a huge problem and needs to be addressed. In my district the lunch menu doesn't come close to following the suggested diet of the new food pyramid. They serve fried chicken parts (nuggets), french toast, sausage, bologna (50% fat), hot dogs and all the bread is white. So there is a lot of lip service about solving the obesity issue but how many districts are actually providing a healthy diet to their students. Anyway, you bring up a great topic and a pet peeve of mine. Getting back to technology, I think that it depends on the district you are in. In my wife's ditrict there is a huge push towards using computers/smartboards, etc. in the classroom. In my district it's the total opposite. Once again, it goes back to the people who run things and how much they care to invest the time to bring these new ideas to their district and sell it to the board and community.
I agree. We seem to be facing a great discrepancy in what different educational jurisdictions are doing yet they all seem to be flying the same slogan. How is it that there is such diversity in how technology is used and viewed yet it seems to be common sense that if it is growing in use, we'd better start looking into its use?
As for the obesity issue - I hear you. The big thing is that we put a whole pile of money into the lip service without actually seeing things change. I really think education has to move away from these bandwagon fads and begin to do some long range thinking and planning. It seems we're constantly being bombarded with "new" ideas about what is wrong and how to fix it. We're so influenced by people who seem to know little about what we do. It simply amazes me at times.
Mr. Kelly,
I wonder what a great response your discussion received.
But, why this situation of teacher (who is responsible to teach society) in situation of ignorance
in respect of technology areas which are useful or acclaimed by elite educators as useful.
Why teachers are out of touch of latest technology ? When young children catching it fast, why not teachers ?
Many respondents to the question given by Mr. Kelly, replied that many teachers are not using technology
and some respondents gave examples how some teachers are using technology. But, if we go little further, is it the responsibility of teachers or educators of this group to think about these matters at length ?
When course curriculum were designed for children studying in schools, why not syllabus for new technologies can be designed for teachers and summer camps be conducted for their education?
Why not teachers who learn and perform these technologies are rewarded and encouraged.
Why blame teachers as ROCKS (in another discussion) and people OUT OF TOUCH.
They are also like other professionals, out of which group, some may be meritorius and performing well, but when it comes to teachers, everybody expects that ALL TEACHERS SHOULD LEARN and PERFORM EXCELLENTLY. If expectations are from educators, district administrators, parents and all related to education, why not all teachers are deputed to special courses regarding new technologies and train them to the best of the expectations of all (as given above) so that teachers also (like their students) do hard work, home work and prove their merit. Without proper external support from society, school, district and Govt., why blaming teachers as ROCKS and expecting them to become FLOWERS ?
I am a firm believer that you can't teach without doing. I use as many of these tools as possible in my own life - then I always have a good example when someone asks. Then, I make it a special point to use them within all my in-service sessions (much of my job is teaching teachers). I have had many teachers tell me that just seeing me use it and being forced to jump in during the training sessions was the bait that caught them.

I really am in the same situation here in Korea, training Korean teachers. I can "say" a lot but until I really design my courses so that trainees are really "doing" and using the technology, it is really insignificant the impact I have. I try as I can to inspire.

What do I use? I use yackpack and writeboard for each and every class. I use karaoke technology extensively (I teach English as a foreign language) as well as open source courseware for my class organization/outline. I've started several of my own communities and design a lot of materials using video software/ karaoke editing technology etc...... I think I walk the walk. But it is hard to set this fire ablaze, so that others are "doing" and not just "using" . So so many use my materials from all over the world but my real hope has always been -- they get inspiration to make and share their own materials through my own template and example.....

I have had the discussion often at conferences and with colleagues -- why teacher resistance to technology? My own colleagues are very resistant and they don't take it well when I exclaim how once the challenge was the photocopier, but now it must be things like class nings and movie maker -- that these things are not something "extra" to teaching but as necessary as chalk and that once so challenging photocopier.

I think teachers don't see the connection -- between the changing learner environment (community / sharing / interaction / doing ) and their own professional development ( curriculum and affective based) That has to be communicated better as well as better user friendly technologies designed......

My take, just new here but hope to share what I know and learn....
(I'd have a lot to say about childhood obesity, having started my own kids foundation and been very vocal on this -- but I think it another topic :) )


"When one teaches, two learn"
I'd like to post the following on our staff PD session handouts "Resistance is futile." but that has a few negative connotations for ST fans. But really, it is futile. We are resisting but, really, do teachers now why they are resisting? I've had this conversation with some teachers and administrators about using technology. Why aren't you using it? What is holding you back? If it's time, then let's look at what we can do to get you more time. Is it equipment? Well, let's see if we can get some laptops for teachers. If it is fear, well let's deal with it and move on. For some reason, people really don't want to answer the question. It makes them uncomfortable. Yet, when you point out some of the benefits and some of the natural events that are happening, they try to dismiss them as passing fads. It's like they don't see the change in the students and the way they communicate. To ignore it will hopefully make it go away. See my "monkeys Unite" entry on this.
Yes, I am walking the Talk and I am exhausted! In a good way, because I am pushing myself outside my comfort zone as I learn how to bring these tools into my professional development sessions. I am rethinking each and ever session I do to incorporate the exciting Web 2.0 tools. I am finally home after two weeks on the road teaching my favorite class Tech Camp for Educators
The use of Ning as a teaching platform, transformed our groups! Take a look at the videoes these campers produced, it is truly amazing. The skill level varied just like every class, but I am so inspired by them, I am pushing myself to model and incoroprate more tools into all my sessions! I agree with the post, we need to model, use the tools, not just talk about them!!
GREAT point - I published webpages and websites before asking my students to do that; I published blogs before asking my students to blog; and so on - I always spend a semester or a year testing out a tool and then, and only then, ask my students to use it. That way I don't waste their time with something I have not already found to be useful in my own work/life, plus I am able to give them much better technical assistance this way.

I give all my students bits of extra credit for trying out new "technology tips" - this is how I introduce technology tools as something optional to experiment with (while I am still experimenting with the tool myself), before deciding whether to make a particular tool required for my online courses. here's the current list of technology tips from last semester: this summer I will be adding, Shelfari and Twitter to the list, since those are all things I am making good use of myself for my own purposes.

I think you have really hit the nail on the head here - I am baffled by the low use of technology by my colleagues in the online course program at my school. They use almost nothing besides the canned (and hopelessly primitive) tools in our CMS. But then I realize that they don't actually use these online tools in their own lives... so of course it doesn't make sense to them to use those tools with their students, too. The tools they use as a regular part of their lives are email, Word and Powerpoint, so those are the tools they use in their online courses, too.

So in a sense, I guess it is good that they are not trying to force on their students something that they do not use themselves in their own personal/professional lives... but just why they are teaching online when they are not creative users of online tools is definitely a mystery to me! I would find it very frustrating trying to teach online without ways to really engage with my students as much as (or, actually, MORE than) in the traditional classroom... :-)



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