“Students today are more connected than ever before.” This is a refrain I’ve heard often in my short year and half in the education system. Teachers are more connected now than ever before, or at least they should be. We have so many resources that many teachers leave untouched. These are things like blogs, classroom communication apps, and SMART technology [to name a few]. Whether it’s because we don’t think the tech is necessary, or we don’t know how to use it, or we just don’t like it we are putting ourselves at a disadvantage.
One reason we don’t use new tech is because it requires us to learn how to use it. That takes time that many teachers feel they don’t have. Granted, the workload is intense and adding anything seems like it could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. However, we cannot expect our students to keep learning if we do not push ourselves to keep learning. Some teachers may be learning in different areas than digital technology; I would argue that digital tech is one of the main domains in which educators should continue to learn.
Some may use the old adage, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” to justify their ways. This implies they are asking the question, “Is it broken?” With respect to education and pedagogy specifically, we need to ask a different question. That question being, “Can it be better?” or, “How can I improve my teaching practice?” These questions give educators no excuse to not keep learning.
Dr. Dan Meyer makes an interesting point about using tech in the classroom on his blog site here: http://blog.mrmeyer.com/2019/the-best-app-for-your-teaching-is-already-on-your-smartphone/
When considering how connected our students are and how connected we [teachers] are/can be, what do you think we should focus on? Do you agree with me that it is learning about new tech and how to use it, or should it be something else? Perhaps it should be educating students on safe internet practices, or showing them the many resources available to them. Let me know your thoughts!