Thursday, September 24, 2009

How Do I Know I Am Not Just Being Selfish?

Part of my job responsibilities this year is to help incorporate more technology into the classroom teachers' teaching. Already this year I have facilitated a Skype conversation between a class in my building and one in another state. I have helped several teachers begin (and begin to use) their own class blogs. I have created a professional development site that will be used in conjunction with our faculty book study. Things seem to be rolling along.

Why is it I am starting to question my motives for pushing technology into the classroom? Am I simply forcing my own interests onto others? Do I really believe that learning how to blog, create media, and connect with others around the world is more valuable than learning more traditional content using more traditional context?

Why is it I find myself more excited about the prospect of doing collaborative work with other schools than my students? Are they simply more accepting of the changes we are experiencing in the world and therefor not as impressed?

What do you think? Are we pushing too hard a technology agenda, or are we simply trying to catch up with the world outside our walls?


John Strange said...

Have you read What Would Google Do? (You got me to listen to the This Week in Google podcast which led to the book. Have your read Free by Chris Anderson? (TWIG led me to that). When you do you will know for certain that it is the opposite. It would be selfish to keep doing it the old way, avoiding the expense of change, but shortchanging your students in the future. They expect the technology. That's why the students are not surprised.

Keep up the fantastic work you are doing!

Your picture above?

Wm Chamberlain said...

Yes, I took it at the Tulsa zoo a few years ago. Thought it was funny because he looked more relaxed than I felt.

Dillon said...

Hi, my name is Dillon Rogers. I am in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class TT2 at the University of South Alabama. I have to say that you are not being selfish. If that was the case, so were the people who decided we should be learning to read, write, research, and compute mathematical word problems.

You are providing your students and community with opportunity. That is often forgotten because going to school is mandated. School is mandated so that our country men and women have the opportunity to become educated citizens and make collaborative decisions in our democratic society. It is a privilege to have a teacher who can teach with inspiration and motivation. But learning how to Skype, how to collaboratively communicate in this world the same way that others are doing, this is mandatory if we are to become educated citizens. It is not only technology that you are teaching, but collaborative and adaptive techniques that will give these kids what they need to understand the world they are in. You did not choose to use technology-the world did. You chose to help others use it. No, selfish is not the word I would choose to describe what you are doing for your school. Enlightening would be better. :)

Dillon Rogers

Angel Shay Padgett said...

I believe what you are doing is both educationally founded and for the good of all. Do not be so hard on yourself to think that others are not appreciating your sincere efforts. I have enjoyed the opportunity to become more empowered in the world of technology and thank you sir for your help in this matter!

Dena Budrecki said...

I don't consider what you are doing to be pushy. I always find it interesting how teachers are often resistant to change. If a corporation changes the software program they are using, employees are expected to learn the new system. It is our role as teachers to provide the best learning environments for our students. We need to make sure we are preparing them for their future, which will include technology. You are only helping teachers become successful in their classroom.

Justin Wall's EDM310 Blog said...

I am an education student at the University of South Alabama and I am currenly taking EDM310, which a technology for education style class. I fully understand your feelings! I am only learning how to teach and i have internal conflicts such as yours.
In a nutshell, I think we do have to incorporate what the student knows and needs to know in the aspect of technology, but we have to use ALL tools available to us. By this I also mean not forsaking one set of tools for the other. Please browse my blog and tell me what you think. As a future teacher, I am extremely interested on how my outlook on education could be improved.