Do Teachers Want to Teach With 21st Century Ideas


The title of this blog entry says it all. We have so many new and exciting technology based learning aids, but not enough teachers that want to use them. As I’ve written in many of my posts, I do not like all the mandated testing because I feel it leads teachers to stop being creative, stops students from learning to be creative while creating average graduates. Reading and writing blocks are good things if they are used with new technology to keep the students interested.

The children of today are being brought up in an internet, media world. They have a different understanding, a different way of learning than we did growing up. Pong versus Xbox, playing outside versus going to the mall, Little League versus Soccer & Martial Arts classes and the biggest difference….computers, ipods, MySpace, Facebook. Most kids today can do more with a computer than the adult teaching them. This is unfortunate and it is even more unfortunate that more teachers are not trying to learn how to use these new technology advances to stay ahead of their students and give them the education they deserve.

At our school the Instructional Technology Coach has set up training classes at least two times a week for all the different technology available to the teachers. This year to date I’ve seen a few of the classes and while they are attended by 8 to 10 teachers out of 44 classroom teachers, it is always the same teachers. That is about a 25 percent attendance rate, which might seem good, but I consider it extremely low. I consider 75 percent a good rate of attendance, but I might be looking through rose colored glasses. The teachers attending are all teachers that have been teaching for less than 10 years and are willing to grow, to learn new things.

The teachers that really need this training are the old bloods that have been teaching for 15, 20, 25 years. They are set in their ways, they “know what we should be teaching”. I’ve run into these types of teachers in my effort to get them to stop using 10 to 15 year old CD’s to teach students how to read and write. We are here for the kids. They need to either jump into the 21st Century or retire so that we can get teachers who want to grow and use the new technology. We need people who want to teach the kids what they need, what they deserve.

That’s what I think…What about you?

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12 thoughts on “Do Teachers Want to Teach With 21st Century Ideas

  1. Why take teachers who are good without technology, and make them mediocre with it? Let them do what they are good at, and use them to teach the newer teachers to teach. And the newer teachers can add the technology piece. In the long run everyone benefits, without major dislocation.

  2. Why take teachers who are good without technology, and make them mediocre with it? Let them do what they are good at, and use them to teach the newer teachers to teach. And the newer teachers can add the technology piece. In the long run everyone benefits, without major dislocation.

  3. You miss the point. It’s not the teachers that matter, it’s the kids. Teachers must use and teach with the new technology or else they are not giving the students the education they deserve. There is no such thing nowadays as a teacher who is good without technology. The world is technology, the kids learn from technology today, methods change, students change. You cannot teach and be effective today without knowing how to use the technology.

    If a teacher learns the technology and uses it they become good at it. Why do you set your sights so low and expect a teacher to become “mediocre with it”? If a teacher is good enough to be a teacher of our children then they are good enough to learn how to use an ActivBoard or how to use a Wiki to teach collaborate learning.

    Finally, what about the students who don’t get the teacher with the technology? Do they have to suffer with the old methods, while still having to take and pass the same tests as the student who gets the better education from the teacher using the technology to the fullest? Is that fair? All students are using computer labs now, the teacher that doesn’t learn how to use the technology will be left in the dust and so with their students.

    Your attitude is one of lets not rock the boat, lets be average, lets not move forward. Ray Kroc, the founder of the McDonald’s Corporation had a saying “When you’re green you’re growing, when you’re ripe you rot.” You always need to be growing and learning, not just sitting there marking time. That is when you rot and get passed by.

  4. You miss the point. It’s not the teachers that matter, it’s the kids. Teachers must use and teach with the new technology or else they are not giving the students the education they deserve. There is no such thing nowadays as a teacher who is good without technology. The world is technology, the kids learn from technology today, methods change, students change. You cannot teach and be effective today without knowing how to use the technology.

    If a teacher learns the technology and uses it they become good at it. Why do you set your sights so low and expect a teacher to become “mediocre with it”? If a teacher is good enough to be a teacher of our children then they are good enough to learn how to use an ActivBoard or how to use a Wiki to teach collaborate learning.

    Finally, what about the students who don’t get the teacher with the technology? Do they have to suffer with the old methods, while still having to take and pass the same tests as the student who gets the better education from the teacher using the technology to the fullest? Is that fair? All students are using computer labs now, the teacher that doesn’t learn how to use the technology will be left in the dust and so with their students.

    Your attitude is one of lets not rock the boat, lets be average, lets not move forward. Ray Kroc, the founder of the McDonald’s Corporation had a saying “When you’re green you’re growing, when you’re ripe you rot.” You always need to be growing and learning, not just sitting there marking time. That is when you rot and get passed by.

  5. Oh, I have to say that’s pure bunk. It is English and Math and Social Studies that are being taught, not gadgets and computers. Effective teachers pre-PC were doing something right. Tech-geeks want to toss that out and say that a university graduate who can play with computers but doesn’t know a lick about teaching is more valuable. Nonesense. Teaching comes first. Integrate technology as possible, but this sort of “technology is primary” attitude would be silly if it weren’t so injurious to our students.

  6. Oh, I have to say that’s pure bunk. It is English and Math and Social Studies that are being taught, not gadgets and computers. Effective teachers pre-PC were doing something right. Tech-geeks want to toss that out and say that a university graduate who can play with computers but doesn’t know a lick about teaching is more valuable. Nonesense. Teaching comes first. Integrate technology as possible, but this sort of “technology is primary” attitude would be silly if it weren’t so injurious to our students.

  7. Teaching through the technology, which from your line of writing I’m guessing you don’t use to teach a class, is where education is going to make it’s greatest strides. No one is saying “that a university graduate who can play with computers but doesn’t know a lick about teaching is more valuable”. That’s your words, not mine. It’s how you use the technology while teaching. If you get your teaching certificate then you should know how to teach or the university system isn’t doing it’s job.

    If pre-PC teachers were doing something right then the United States would not rank 24th out of 29 surveyed countries in the reading and science literacy as well as mathematical abilities of its high school students when compared with other developed nations. Source: The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

    Technology isn’t about using a computer to read, or write. It’s about teaching kids how to write using a blog, to get feedback, and learn how to properly discuss issues. It’s using a Wiki to have the students contribute their notes on a subject, whether from reading, researching, or listening in class to the wiki teaching collaboration in learning. At the same time the students have learned other things that they may not have seen while doing their homework, as students rarely share homework or notes. It’s using the ActviBoard to run a United Streaming video, then using IE (while still on the ActviBoard) to continue the lesson, then have the students use the electronic voters to answer questions that the ActviBoard then takes and shows the votes, percentages on the answers, and creates graphs on the subject. What a great class that is compared to sitting in class listening to a teacher, while you take notes and then go home to do the homework assignment.

  8. Teaching through the technology, which from your line of writing I’m guessing you don’t use to teach a class, is where education is going to make it’s greatest strides. No one is saying “that a university graduate who can play with computers but doesn’t know a lick about teaching is more valuable”. That’s your words, not mine. It’s how you use the technology while teaching. If you get your teaching certificate then you should know how to teach or the university system isn’t doing it’s job.

    If pre-PC teachers were doing something right then the United States would not rank 24th out of 29 surveyed countries in the reading and science literacy as well as mathematical abilities of its high school students when compared with other developed nations. Source: The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

    Technology isn’t about using a computer to read, or write. It’s about teaching kids how to write using a blog, to get feedback, and learn how to properly discuss issues. It’s using a Wiki to have the students contribute their notes on a subject, whether from reading, researching, or listening in class to the wiki teaching collaboration in learning. At the same time the students have learned other things that they may not have seen while doing their homework, as students rarely share homework or notes. It’s using the ActviBoard to run a United Streaming video, then using IE (while still on the ActviBoard) to continue the lesson, then have the students use the electronic voters to answer questions that the ActviBoard then takes and shows the votes, percentages on the answers, and creates graphs on the subject. What a great class that is compared to sitting in class listening to a teacher, while you take notes and then go home to do the homework assignment.

  9. Well, I’ve been teaching over 15 years, and I have to say it’s only one other veteran teacher and myself who are exploring using the new technologies in our elementary school. We also receive no recognition or credit for doing so. What’s ironic is there’s such an push for students to engage in quality writing and reading for “real-world purposes,” yet one of the most motivating and accessible ways of doing so is being totally ignored.

    It is discouraging sometimes, but I tell myself I’m ahead of the curve on this one. I know it’s time will come. It’s just that the more powerful interactive features of the web are relatively new and the educational examples of that are just starting to be tested and explored. When the exemplary examples are there and the student success stories start to emerge, that’s when we’re going to see this movement start taking off.

  10. Well, I’ve been teaching over 15 years, and I have to say it’s only one other veteran teacher and myself who are exploring using the new technologies in our elementary school. We also receive no recognition or credit for doing so. What’s ironic is there’s such an push for students to engage in quality writing and reading for “real-world purposes,” yet one of the most motivating and accessible ways of doing so is being totally ignored.

    It is discouraging sometimes, but I tell myself I’m ahead of the curve on this one. I know it’s time will come. It’s just that the more powerful interactive features of the web are relatively new and the educational examples of that are just starting to be tested and explored. When the exemplary examples are there and the student success stories start to emerge, that’s when we’re going to see this movement start taking off.

  11. Ray;
    I am really interested in changing the way we teach and learn, and I can see you are also. If we are to be successful, we have to be less judgmental. We have to understand that if we are too judgmental people get defensive and view us as arrogant. I’ve been down that road many times.

    That doesn’t mean we stop advocating for our beliefs. But let’s be clear, we are really advocating that teachers, administrators, parents shift their belief systems about teaching and learning. We are asking them to adopt new beliefs about the role of technology, and what school should be like. Shifting people’s beliefs is not a professional development/training issue. It goes much deeper.

    I will be posting some thoughts on this topic tomorrow. I hope we can engage in some dialogue. http://www.preilly.wordpress.com

  12. Ray;
    I am really interested in changing the way we teach and learn, and I can see you are also. If we are to be successful, we have to be less judgmental. We have to understand that if we are too judgmental people get defensive and view us as arrogant. I’ve been down that road many times.

    That doesn’t mean we stop advocating for our beliefs. But let’s be clear, we are really advocating that teachers, administrators, parents shift their belief systems about teaching and learning. We are asking them to adopt new beliefs about the role of technology, and what school should be like. Shifting people’s beliefs is not a professional development/training issue. It goes much deeper.

    I will be posting some thoughts on this topic tomorrow. I hope we can engage in some dialogue. http://www.preilly.wordpress.com

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