Note: As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m working my way through Dr. Larry D. Rosen’s book, Rewired.
This is the crux of our educational dilemma. Technology is advancing at a rapid pace and today’s students are the ones who are on the cutting edge…even the youngest teachers are trained to teach using a set of tools, some of which include computers, but many of which are not technology based…the question is how are these highly motivated teachers going to succeed if they can’t get even the brightest kids to read or participate in class?
On reading the highlighted section, I had the normal reaction teachers in my own workshops have had–Why SHOULD we try to get these kids to read or participate in class? As that perspective goes, aren’t these kids coming to school to learn? Why should we tap dance, etc.? Who has time to learn all the new techniques AND teach?
The answer to that question is pretty obvious. It reminds of one response I saw over The Thinking Stick by Jeff Utecht, which points out that we all are granted the same amount of time….how we spend it is up to us. Once you get past that initial question, and accept the fact that it’s critical we learn to interact with our students using the current media of the day, other questions pop up in my head–how can we take advantage of the current media in today’s schools when it is blocked, locked up under Active Directory, or banned by administrative procedure? This is a point Dan Rezac goes into as well with Progressive Bob.
Rosen points out that the key is “…in understanding how their students are very different in the ways they value and approach media and technology…if educators can better understand how their students process multimedia technology then they can more creatively imagine how to teach them and how to select or develop curricula that will engage these tech-savvy learners.”
Again, the real question is, are teachers allowed to even select or develop curricula in today’s schools? My experiences as a district administrator–where I ask people these questions essential for technology integration–point to a negative answer. It’s not MY answer, it’s THEIR answer. Is this expectation for real?