Now is the best time to be a teacher?

That seems to be the consensus; but only from teachers just coming out of grad school. They have had the latest and the greatest of instruction on how to integrate technology. Librarians are also coming out of school with more tech armor for the classroom. But what about the teachers who have been in classroom for the past 15 years and missed the technological wave? What about them? They're still good teachers? Right?

Since I conduct teacher training sessions for technology use in the classroom, I find more senior faculty members very frustrated and resentful that they have to learn a new way of teaching. "Give me the old days!" "This is NOT what I got my Masters for!" I often hear.

Has anyone else come across an ambivalent teacher?

Views: 5

Comment by Steve Hargadon on May 26, 2007 at 7:03pm
Just a side comment. Michael Russell at Boston College gave a talk at the CoSN conference this year, and showed research that new teachers are using technology even less in the classroom than older teachers. If it's of interest to you, I interviewed him and you can hear the interview at www.EdTechLive.com.

BTW, glad to have you here!
Comment by Cathy Nelson on May 26, 2007 at 7:15pm
I have found the staff dev and prof dev time are not near as effective in helping techno-phobes and digital immigrants get on board with learning new technologies than planning collaborative projects. In planning collaborative projects, I usually can infuse appropriate technology, but assure my collaborative partner that I will provide the technical instruction, and the teacher then learns side-by-side with the kids. Many a teacher has reluctantly gone hand-n-hand with me into a project, and then come out saying, "Wow, I learned so much myself!" Modeling instruction, providing support, and being a collaborative partner to me is the most effective way to get reluctant teachers or teachers who feel left out of the tech wave on board. I would also have to agree that many newbies in the teaching field are just as ill-equipped to authentically integrate technology in the classroom too. But they do seem more willing to collaborate.
Comment by Alix E. Peshette on May 26, 2007 at 8:25pm
Cathy,
You have described a winning formula on how to gently lead the techno-phobes into technology. Staff development is a model that works for some, but for others, seeing it modeled in their own classroom, while they do the curriculum part can be the key to diminishing their fear of tech in the curriculum.
Comment by Christine Southard on May 28, 2007 at 3:29am
I'm co-teaching a class to colleagues in my district on integrating technology into the classroom. Such a tangible divide exists between the newbies and the tenured, that many times the instructors need to intervene before frustration sets in, in both parties.

Those who have recently graduated have the technology know how and want to move fast through the techie instructions. While the long-term classroom teachers are frustrated by the quick pace because they have limited experience with computers and the internet.

One of the reasons I'm co-teaching the class is to differentiate between the pace and learning style of our teachers. Delete Comment
Comment by Ian Carmichael on December 25, 2007 at 10:23pm
Hi Amy,
Yes, I'm an ambivalent teacher, and I'm in the ICT stream. There are so many things I need to be doing in this multiform, super-documented, intensely individualised version of education. I have to be across so many trhings that it's a constant challenge what gets my attention for implementation, adaptation and reporting. This means while I'm an adopter I'm not a 'gung ho' adopter since, for me, the CR2 tools are just part of the kitbag - not necessarily the scaffolding from which we build, and certainly not the skeleton upon which we grow.
I think in some ways I coming into my third childhood of teaching - after 30+ years in various contexts and disciplines, I'm worrying the seminal questions again of 'What is it to be educated?', 'What is teaching?' 'What is learning?' and 'Where does assessment for ranking students fit with the seminal questions?'
All this stuff is running in parallel strands through my mind - along with the fact of finitude - my life is not teaching, even though my vocation may be. My real calling is to be as authentically human as possible.
Ambivalent? Yes, I think so.

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