Aside from the fact that our country will have a new President
and a new administration at nearly this time tomorrow, my greatest concern is in what I can impact and work with in the here and now - and what's closest to me - that being the Introduction to Educational Technology course I teach each semester.
I have to say that teaching this course for me is very exciting - because it's in this course that I can engage up and-coming teaching professionals in this thing we like to call 'technology'. I really have to stay on my toes. Technology is always changing and therefore I can never keep up, but then again I don't have to know everything. A good professor of my own once told me, that learning had so much less to do with knowing all the information and more to do with knowing how to find information - and that's very, very true today. Sure, I'd agree with anyone that says there's a basic body of knowledge everyone should be familiar with - and as a former Middle School teacher I have to agree entirely, but I also know that giving students keys to learning is at least as important as 'knowing some facts'.
It's these reasons that have made me very excited about realigning the course to reflect more acutely the new NETS Standards for Teachers
. When I first examined the standards, they almost seem more nebulous and far less concrete than those that preceded it
, but then again, considering the subject matter - it's no wonder that a content area that changes so often would have to be less concrete and more dynamic. The new standards hinge far less on any one technology and more on the integration of technology and the ability of teachers to learn how to use new technologies
from the knowledge they have of former technologies. Sounds like Piaget and prior knowledge
to me. Standard 3a states, "Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society. Teachers: demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer
of current knowledge
to new technologies and situations
." These statements, and others, help reflect the dynamic nature and need for the standards to guide a content area that is constantly in a state of change.
So it is that class begins tomorrow, and some revisions have taken place within the course content - esp. since I'd been able to find a textbook that did so well to align technology content with the previous set of standards. Changing text books in the middle of the school year isn't my cup of tea, but looking at how I teach and what I teach and aligning things to the new standards was a bit more manageable - a bit.
I did actually come across a professor with the College of William and Marry, a Mark Hofer whose course syllabus already
addressed the new standards in his fall 2008
CRINS07 course. I was encouraged and enlightened to see that others are already adapting to the new standards and incorporating them into their teaching. While consistently evaluating and possibly revising teaching methods and the way in which I go about teaching the content is in keeping with good pedagogy, it's tiring sometimes. Perhaps with the economy slowing down, technology will take a breath to let me take one. Somehow I doubt it.