Victor Hugo once said something to the effect of, "An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come." Teachers are constantly torn between embracing new technologies, which come fast and furiously, and clinging to their traditional methods.
Back in the olden days of 1990 I presented a group project for my Masters in Instruction and Curriculum. Our lesson plan included the use of the Green Acres theme song as an anticipatory set to a unit on rural versus urban lifestyles. The professor was satisfied with the project overall but asked, "Keith, how would the average teacher be able to get the opening song for Green Acres?"
I had stayed up until 1:00 AM and copied it (most likely illegally) from an old rerun, but I answered, "In a couple years they should be able to get it from an electronic library. You know, sign out television shows the same way that people sign out books." (I wasn't being prophetic; I had probably read somewhere that such a capability was just over the horizon). The professor laughed, as did a couple students in the audience, so I added, "Or they can stay up until one in the morning to copy it off an old rerun."
The fact is, many teachers now drown in the tidal wave of new technology. That's why I'm so grateful for sites like Recess Duty, EduTechieGal, and Free Technology for Teachers which give us our tech immersion just one ankle-deep wave at a time. I can handle that.
How about you? Are you feeling overwhelmed? How do you keep up with the latest tech products and applications? What professional development opportunities does your school offer on a regular basis for the average classroom teacher to keep informed about tech advances? Which delivery system has your school or district found most useful in educating teachers in this area? Are there other technology-for-teacher sites that you can recommend? Leave a comment or drop me a line.
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