Are we giving it away? was what one teacher asked me. Here I am all excited about students interacting, writing, editing, collaborating, incorporating instruction from me, all the good; and here is the teacher saying I work an 8 hour day plus now, am I supposed to go online and do more in my off hours?

Well? are we going to get release time for teachers from one prepared class a day so they can go online and respond to students who have posted blogs, edited wikis, uploaded movies, set up a podcast feed and take the time to listen.

Where does the time come from, how do we fit asynchronous activity in to the payscale?

Your thoughts?

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It's a way of life. It's not a question of payscale. It's a question of what's important in your life. I'm online because to NOT be online is unthinkable. Ask me not to breathe instead.
Well stated. However, if what is important in one's life is time with family when the kids are young, being outdoors when the weather is warm, exercising regularly, or participating in a book club, then its a stretch for many teachers to buy "NOT being on line is unthinkable." For you this may be the case, but it is important to acknowledge that for many teachers there are competing priorities. I like this stuff, but can't help but feel at times that it consumes too much of my time...
Yup. Understood and I agree. I have competing priorities in my life, too.

If what's important in your life doesn't include being online, that's good. A variety of perspectives are important. But also understand that the "Digital Upstarts" are living the vida digita. It's ok if you don't want to engage them on their own turf, but I think it's unreasonable to expect that the rules of the old school will be honored in the new.

How teachers will make a living is another interesting question, but that's a different post.

But back to the original question, the largest problem is that the school does not value innovation and this is one way to actively discourage it.

It's the classic teacher dilemma. if you give an assignment, it's going to come back to you many times over. The larger and more complex the assignment, the longer it's going to take to grade. The more students you assign it to, the more time it's going to take. Teachers have known and dealt with that for generations now.

The answer isn't in ADDING this stuff on top, it's replacing some of the old ways with it. I don't know ANY teacher who only works eight hours a day. Instead of grading 25 essays, you have to listen to 25 podcasts. The *difference* is that any teacher who's not fluent in the technology is going to take a LOT longer to grade 25 podcasts than 25 essays. The problem is that administrations are not permitting teachers to replace old with new but are instead requiring them to layer new onto old. That's the polical problem that needs to be solved.
Replacing traditional practices with digital ones makes sense to me and does help relieve the "where do I get the time" issue. One of the reasons that schools don't value innovation for the most part is the fact that teaching is assessed in a way that argues against it, namely the pencil and paper standardized exam. Most classroom teachers I know, in MA and CT at least, feel tremendous pressure to cover the curriculum and teach to the test so that: (a) their students will "succeed", and (b) the teachers won't be penalized for the kids not succeeding.

For technology to really make a difference we have to almost get to the "everything you know is wrong" place and reinvent school. What we are doing for the most part now is using technology in traditional contexts. Not the way to achieve a real change.
You and I think a lot alike, Tom.

Frustrating, ain't it? :)
Great conversation. I am very excited by the potential too but sometimes exhausted by the fight. For us early adopters who do live and breathe the technology, taking the time to layer on to what we already have committed to do, begins to model for later adopters the value in taking it on at all. Where I need to stand up to the admins above me is in pointing out the irrelevance of some of the old responsibilities. Pointing out that I can stop taking the time to print out a copy of the handout with screen shots and making 35 copies and putting it into the faculty boxes. Its in the course documents folder on the BlackBoard site and all the teachers know that and go there. The admins never look they just want to know why have I stopped providing application procedure hand outs. Thats just one example.

The mind set of reluctant users is so different than the mind set and willingness to navigate through new applications and sites than enthused users that it takes an entirely different PD approach. In my PD offerings I start with my hook, I make it a show that is hopefully as entertaining as it is educational and then they always have time to explore on their own. This is when I go person to person providing the individualised instruction each of them needs to get from where they are with that specific technology or in some cases any technology and then move them forward. Its an IEP for each faculty member I provide PD for.

Thanks again for this discussion
Larrry: I think that Will Richardson has a good point when he talks about how he has stopped telling teachers how to implement these technologies in their classrooms, and just tries to help them start to use them for their own professional development. Then they actually can experience what takes place in their own lives, and will know when and how to try to bring it into the classroom...
I took Will Richardson's and David Warlick's advice and setup a Professional Development 2.0 vehicle for a group of teachers. We meet once a month for 2 hours and spend the rest of time in wikis, forums, and blogs.
It has worked great. They all now have a web presence with blogs and many are using Moodle. Experience is the key to knowledge.
Sharon, I would like to hear more about your model. I am trying to move things forward in my district, have some teachers blogging, students posting to a reader's forum, and I have set up a Moodle PD site for the district. The challenge for me is related to Larry's original post, teachers are so pressed for time that it is difficult for them to see where the extra time will come from for "this." How did you identify the original group? What is your PD 2 vehicle? Thanks...
I'm in elementary, so I have fewer posts to check, but I tend to approve them when they ssr, or when they are online doing centers. It only takes about 1 minute. And I comment once a week on what's been said, which takes about 15 minutes. It takes me longer to do the prep of the blog for the week, etc. That goes into hours. That said, I'd rather read their posts online than grade a test. THAT is a chore!
I agree time is an issue. I work in a private K-8 school and our teachers only have 2 prep perios of 45 minutes per week. It is tough to learn a whole new way of doing things and I do try to provide time within the context of our weekly curriculum meetings. The other part of the equation is how productive is the time provided. In the early stages of adoption it seems the teachers are lost and do not accomplish a lot during the prep time which means we need more professional development so it becomes easier and more important to them.
As for the pay scale question...For me it is a a perfect world I am not asking the teachers to do more I am asking them to do it differently. Any issue of pay is really about pay for extra time invested in learning which can be done through professional development stipends and the like..
I'm new here, but if we're getting the kids to post online, do wikis online, etc, while that takes more time in some areas, doesn't it free up time in others? If the students research online, we no longer need to take them to the library as often. They can prepare presentations more independently than before. They can collaborate more easily than they used to. All of these things (once in place) should give the classroom teacher a bit more time to take on other tasks, like keeping up with social networks like this or sharing insights and information via blogs. I suspect it will all balance out in the long run.



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