Whose Job is it Anyways?

Whose job is it to teach the NETs and AASL standards to students?

There are so many facets to this question … and really I don’t even know where to start. Is it about teaching standards, or is it about exposing students to technology in a meaningful way, and modeling appropriate usage and behaviors? Is it about stepping forward and taking responsibility?

This has made for a very interesting discussion piece during our COETAIL course. Many of us feel that it isn’t just a classroom responsibility. The community needs to be on board as well. I really feel at times that if we don’t hold students, staff and parents accountable, then no one will step forward and take ownership. If we don’t put someone at the top of the totem pole, will the students of today actually get the type of education they need to succeed in today’s world? Recently, I have seen 2 models put in place. Both attempt to expose students and staff to technology. Both attempt to educate those involved. And both depend on parents to some extent to “follow up at home.”

Model #1 -The school does not have a technology facilitator, and asks classroom teachers to be tech savy with applications the school has worked into their overall technology program. They need to teach certain programs and skills somehow…

Hmmm. This has good intentions, but places a lot of stress, pressure, and responsibility on teachers who already have a lot to do. Can they take the time to learn new applications which they have no intention of using personally? Is adequate time and training provided, or are teachers asked to become familiar with certain applications in their own time? I don’t know, this may work for some people, but I have my doubts. And I saw a lot of problems with the model. Was it integrated in a meaningful way?

Model #2 – the school has technology facilitators who work in the classroom with the teacher, planning and integrating technology in meaningful ways and supporting “learning” – students and teachers work together to meet a common goal. The only hitch to this plan is when the classroom teacher expects the facilitator to come in and teach a “technology” lesson. Yes, this does happen.

I think the school is accountable for educating our youth, and we need to work together with students towards a common goal – meaningful technology integration. I really like the looks of the AASL “Standards For The 21st Century Learner”. They are wordy, but cover so many aspects of learning, and what it means to be a global citizen.¬† It is nice to think that parents will be involved, but how many of them really want to be involved? How many of them check my class blog each day to monitor homework and keep up to date with classroom news?

I do feel it is up to us, as educators, to take this on. Not teaching to the standards, but being aware of the standards and integrating them into curricular areas which link naturally. I do not believe in getting the laptops out to teach Microsoft Word as a program. I do believe in a class deciding to present text electronically, discussing which applications they could use, and then working appropriate technology into the classroom to support learning. We need to look at the bigger picture of what learning really is, rather than how to teach technology.

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~ by yamaguru on December 11, 2009.

One Response to “Whose Job is it Anyways?”

  1. Great new blog. Took me a while to find it, so now that I have, I like it.

    I like this line, “Not teaching to the standards, but being aware of the standards and integrating them into curricular areas which link naturally.” The standards should be about valued learning that does allow for connections with the learning in content areas. This speaks exactly to that.

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