A differing perspective from the CEO of Starrmatica, Emily Starr, who asserts teachers need interactive content to use an interactive whiteboard. She then lists several factors that are critical to implementation.
Those factors, although highlighted in my DiigoNotes below, are worth separating out:
You must have teachers willing to accept and learn technology.
The word “learn” is a tough one. How much we can learn is limited by a variety of factors…simply, a positive attitude about technology is insufficient. When you consider how much teachers have do for their jobs, “learning” is something that may not rate high enough. Imagine teachers who come home at the end of a long day…how many within any one organization are eager to spend that precious time learning more? Edubloggers are the exception, I’m sure, and life calls us all to cultivate different learning experiences that may be unrelated to technology.
If 70 hours of learning is necessary, then I question whether a 3 hour session is going to make the difference. We really need a graduate level course on interactive whiteboards that will extend learning experiences over a much longer period.
They must be taught how to operate the hardware and navigate the software.
It is amazing to watch staff that lack technology experiences. We are now moving beyond the early adopters into the mainstream of teachers and administrators for whom technology is something the lab manager or campus technologist does FOR them. In my experiences, I am pessimistic that teachers will be able to learn and use complex interactive whiteboards that boast MANY features. It involves grafting a whole new set of skills and attitudes onto a different way of being an educator that involves minimal technology use because technology access has been limited, non-functioning.
For example, in an environment where the level of teaching innovation (LOTI) was 0-2, it would be inappropriate to put interactive whiteboards…you’d be better off addressing the perceived lack of access to technology (0), as well as finding ways to make technology use more routine and for more authentic learning practices.
Additionally, they must be instructed on how to create and/or find interactive content.
No, I’m sorry, I don’t see this happening. Teachers have plenty to do in places where curriculum scope and sequence is lock-step…it’s hard enough to get them to deviate via high-stakes testing. While we can certainly change expectations, I suspect that CREATE is not a word that describes what teachers are doing now that NCLB has been so entrenched, eliminating individual teacher creativity.
And finally, they must understand how to integrate that content into daily classroom instruction.
And, who do we expect will teach them and provide just in time instruction in this? Curriculum staff at the District or campus level?
Ms. Starr’s points fail to take into account the realities of public schools and the culture of the District. Consider this point:
Reforms that strive for educational excellence are likely to fail unless they are meaningfully linked to the school’s unique culture.
Source: Shaping School Culture
We continue to impose technology from central office with the idea that we’ll be making a change. The reality is we have to spend the time, effort at the campus level, the classroom level to build the rapport needed to make the reform–in this case, interactive whiteboards–effective.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.