I must say, I really do feel wiser, learning so much about things that (a mere 3 months ago) I didn't even know existed. 30+ things, to be exact.
Of course, there's the old adage: the more you know, the more you realize you don't know.
However, when I think of my pretty-decent-tech-savvy-skills and what I do already know...then I add in what I've learned this summer...it certainly makes me realize the amount that I still have to learn. Moreover, it makes me realize how much work teachers in the 21st Century have in front of them to stay current. This goes for new and seasoned teachers alike. I do think we are in an era where most teachers have acquired your basic amount of tech skills (as opposed to 15 years or so ago). We are now past the era where the computer is downright scary to many teachers.
But, twice this summer I've spoken with former teaching buddies (both who are currently the tech coordinators at my former schools). We spent a decent amount of time during each visit talking about how there are still a lot of teachers out there--great teachers--who are still resistant to bringing true technology integration into their classrooms. It's hard. On top of the forever issues of teaching: curriculum, testing, report writing, differentiation, behavioral issues, learning differences/difficulties, dealing with parents, lunch/recess duties & playground politics, lack of planning time, expanding classroom numbers, budget and extracurricular cuts, and more...integrating technology seems like that "one more thing." That thing that might be enough to send a teacher over the edge.
Add in, the learning curve on the ever-expansive new technologies is huge...not to mention time-consuming. Most of us do know that! And moola for tech-training is sometimes hard to come by. So, only the mega-motivated (who probably aren't getting enough sleep just trying to carve out time to do this) find info-videos on YouTube, or putz endlessly on the computer in self-teach mode. Or maybe that's just me, who does goofy stuff like this for fun in my spare time.
For those of you who still might not be quite sure where to start on the "EdTech curve," here's a great article entitled "50 Ways to Integrate Technology in your Classroom Tomorrow," with an equally fabulous follow-up "50 MORE Ways to Integrate Technology." I also added in a few interesting infographics on the subject of tech and education. At the end of the day, it goes to show, there's a lot of food for thought. Yet it is through reflection that we, as teachers (regardless the subject), grow and become better teachers. I do feel that technology is a tool...just as "getting outside" is a tool. Both scream of "experiential learning." Pulling up our sleeves, and getting a little dirty or messy as we go (or at the least, getting out of our desks and moving around a bit) are exactly what our students need. We, as teachers, might need that too.
|Online Activities by Age Group: From: http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2010/05/infographic-which-age-groups-use-social.html|
ABC pic from http://www.davidairey.com/alphabet-photo-art-gallery/, "Learning" Wordle from http://drapestakes.blogspot.com/2010/04/national-ed-tech-plan-online-data.html. Infographic sites listed in each caption.
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