I posted this today in an online forum our district technology director facilitates for teachers in MyBigCampus. It’s a closed community / walled garden so I’m posting my response here instead of linking to it.
I’m not sure we need to “teach technology.” Do we “teach pencil?” Technology is a term we most often use for tools that are new. I agree we need to use new, digital tools for communication, learning & collaboration. But I think a lot of teachers get hung up by thinking, “They (the district) want me to teach technology, but I don’t know technology.”
I don’t think we should expect teachers to “teach technology,” instead I think all learners should use technologies as appropriate to further learning goals. We need to all develop our communication skills, both with written words and spoken words. Technologies can help with this.
As I continue to teach, I grow less enchanted with the idea of “teaching technology” and more enthused about “using the tools I need to learn what I want to and/or have to learn.
Hat tip to Doug Johnson (in his classic 2005 post, “Rules for Pod People and a Proposal for Banning Pencils“) for reminding me about helpful analogies to pencils when it comes to “new technologies.” Also thanks to David Warlick a couple of weeks ago during his keynote for OTA/EncycloMedia in Oklahoma City, reminding audience members, “…we should stop integrating technology and start integrating literacy.”
What are your thoughts?
If you enjoyed this post and found it useful, consider subscribing to Wes' free, weekly newsletter. Generally Wes shares a new edition on Monday mornings, and it includes a TIP, a TOOL, a TEXT (article to read) and a TUTORIAL video. You can also check out past editions of Wes' newsletter online free!
Did you know Wes has published several eBooks and "eBook singles?" 1 of them is available free! Check them out! Also visit Wes' subscription-based tutorial VIDEO library supporting technology integrating teachers worldwide!MORE WAYS TO LEARN WITH WES: Do you use a smartphone or tablet? Subscribe to Wes' free magazine "iReading" on Flipboard! Follow Dr. Wesley Fryer on Twitter (@wfryer), Facebook and Google+. Also "like" Wes' Facebook page for "Speed of Creativity Learning". Don't miss Wesley's latest technology integration project, "Show With Media: What Do You Want to CREATE Today?"