What ICT Teachers Think… 20 May, 2009Posted by paralleldivergence in education, ICT in Education, Internet, My Thoughts.
Tags: computers, education revolution, ICT in Education, teaching
EVERY School Term for the past ten years, in conjunction with my team, I have been running Information Days for school ICT Coordinators. Over 250 teachers representing over 200 public schools consistently come to find out the latest information relating to ICT in school education in our little part of the world. Now while I’m usually the one passing the latest news onto them, I often like to ask them what their point of view is – that is, being a school educator that uses ICT in the classroom, or in other words, being a minority within the teaching faculty. Here’s what some of them have told me.
“My students tell me I’m their most-favourite teacher!”
Well that’s a good start. You incorporate the gadgets. You let the students use fun stuff that the other teachers seem to avoid. Of course you’d be popular.
“I have to spend a lot of my own time learning how to do this, but it’s really worth it!”
Technology changes very rapidly. When we started our ICT Info Days, it was all about installing applications and transferring files. Now it’s blogs, wikis and personal learning networks.
“Why is it my responsibility to show other teachers how to do this when I had to do it myself?”
I stopped to think about this. It’s a good point. But in the end, I decided it was a selfish point of view. Is school teaching a case of “every man or woman for themselves“? I certainly hope not. Especially not in high school where each student has multiple teachers. ICT-innovators are trailblazers. They need to forge the path for other teachers to follow. They need their fellow teachers to follow them. But not everyone can be Marco Polo. Consider yourself your school’s own Marco Polo. An adventurer discovering new worlds for the benefit of future travellers.
“It’s plainly obvious that when using technology my students are engaged and performing.”
There is definitely an attraction by students to information and communications technologies.
“Continuity is the biggest problem I see for the students that leave my class at the end of the year.”
It almost begs the question, “why do this extra work at all?“. If you’re operating as an island when the most of the rest of the school is a technology desert, are you really helping? If your year 5 class is buzzing with effective interactive ICT activities, how will your students feel when they go to year 6 where the only time the computer gets turned on is when a student finishes their cloze passages stencil early so they can “play“?
“If I leave the school, it will probably be the case that the ICT programs I run will cease.”
This is one of the biggest tragedies that come out of working alone. While the teacher will probably leave (often with a promotion) to continue her ICT program elsewhere, the school they left goes right back to square one. We need a way to identify, package, promote, share and develop effective ICT teaching practices – not to keep them as one teacher’s secret weapon.
So, what do you think?