Since, I have also been grappling with some of these issues myself and have been trying figuring out the best way to Blog about them, so I thought I’d take some of Heidi’s Questions, as she asks them, and pair them with my musings. (Notice, I did not say answers, because those will only come with collaboration of Educators. As far as I can tell, the pace of all this change is causing many of the challenges we face today… it’s happening faster than policies can be created.)
“How are teachers who aren’t exploring these new ideas going to cope when thistsunami of change hits? It’s bubbling just below the surface, but is about to explode. What will they do?” I guess, as teachers, you are either on board or you walk the plank – either by choice or not. The fact is that Education IS changing and it is changing at a very fast face; a whirlwind of change, if you will! If we do not embrace technology, then we are not ensuring the success of our students, thus we are not adequately teaching them.
“If a student is following my class online at home, or at the mall or in the car on the way to Florida, do I still mark him or her as absent?”
Yes, as it is a ‘policy-issue’. But, I suspect you are actually questioning if this is indeed justified, as students can accomplish the exact same thing no matter where they are, and, they can also receive guidance and support from the teacher, wherever they are. As we remove geographic boundaries, the possibilities for enriching learning are endless. Since our students need to be well-versed in these technologies, and, at present time, they are required by law to physically be in the school building, then it is imperative that teachers teach them these skills. It is our job. It doesn’t matter if we are learning right along with the students.
Erm, you mean warden… just kidding. I think upon reflection of our new roles we would be better known as Learning Guides or Collaborators, but these types of titles really do not get across the necessity for knowledgeable professionals, i.e., teachers to have these jobs. I am certainly NOT suggesting teachers are no longer necessary. Perhaps, we just need to change the definition and role description of teacher to more accurately define our new roles. Research has already shown that when you teach, you consolidate learning, so instead of teacher-at-the-head, both teachers and students learn together. Sometimes students may teach the teacher; and sometimes the teachers learns first, then will teach the students, who in all likelihood, will pick up the new skill or concept quickly and then discover something beyond the teacher’s knowledge and then teach the teacher. You see that we have a more collaborative learning process occurring.
Another thing that confounds the issues is that we are in a unique spot in history. Many of today’s teacher’s are not well-versed in technology, but the newer teachers are, and it will be common-place for future teachers. I think that because this is a transition stage – we are moving from a relatively slow-moving Evolution of Education to a fast-paced Revolution of Education.
Since our world is a technological one, we can only: Embrace It. Explore It. Collaborate In It. And, most importantly, Have Fun With It. Start small, take baby steps and ask for help. (It is actually easier to get help online than in real-life, you know!) It’s okay to be fearful, but just do it. Am infinite number of doors will open up for you and you will be transformed by the wonder of it all!
Bump It Up – Do Better to Be Better!
Future Blog topics (because they are BIG topics)…
- “What kinds of people will emerge once we’ve allowed self-directed learning to take hold? Will we unleash an unprecedented creative force such as the world has never seen?”
- Here’s another question, how do I create a balance between @funtasticteachr, or nicolaschneider.com, and Nikki in real-life??