Where are we going? This is a question that every teacher must ask themselves on a regular basis. Where ARE we going? Look around you…pay attention to your surroundings. What do you see? After viewing the video “Did You Know” (McLeod, 2011), I pondered that very question, “Where are we going?”
As a society, we are immersed in technology and digital resources. It is our current way of life. At the very least, we must, as individuals, be equipped with “computer literacy” where we “have current knowledge and understanding of computers and their uses.” Greater still is the need for “information literacy,” where we know “how to find, analyze, use, and communicate information.” (Shelly, Gunter, Gunter, 2012). So, what are we doing, as teachers, to fulfill this need in our students?
“Are we doing what is best for our students, or are we doing what is most convenient for us?” Karl Frisch commented, “Our schools are designed for the convenience of the adults, not for the needs of our students.” (McLeod, 2011). Human nature tends toward doing what is comfortable – what is familiar – the traditional. But is that right for our kids? Are we really preparing them for what’s out there? We must integrate technology into our current curriculum by providing our students with necessary digital equipment and willing teachers who are ready to move forward into this digital world we live in.
In my current assignment as a media specialist, I observe teachers from both ends of the spectrum – those who say, “Bring it on!” and those who sheepishly reply, “I don’t know about this.” For example, three years ago, we acquired Mimio boards for every classroom on our campus. We attended the training. We viewed online webinars. We shared ideas. But after three years, there are still some of our traditional-minded teachers, fabulous teachers in their own right, who are not using the new technology as an integral tool in teaching the curriculum. Is it fear? Lack of time? Insufficient knowledge or support?
And then, suddenly, it came to me : I am the captain of the techno-cheer squad! I see where we’re headed…I know we’re doing what’s convenient. I need to do whatever it takes to better myself in order to be the resource my team deserves. And together, we will do what’s best for our kids!
So, what do we do from here?
- Recognize the need for our school to move forward technologically.
- Work closely with a willing administrator who wholeheartedly embraces technology.
- Set modest and attainable goals and reach these goals one step at a time.
- Collaborate and provide professional development opportunities for the teachers.
- Get parents involved in the process.
- Actively acquire funding for new projects.
- Never stop learning!
Our kids are depending on us to help them become “productive citizens in an emerging global economy.” (Shelly, Gunter, Gunter, 2012). It is our responsibility – our duty – to ensure that we prepare them for their future.
Classroom clipart. (n.d.). Computer clipart. [Web clip-art]. Retrieved from http://classroomclipart.com/clipart-view/Clipart/Education/17-5-07-37_jpg.htm
McLeod, S. (2011, August 4). Iowa, Did You Know? [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1JyLYphevc
McLeod, S. (2007, May 1). Well? What’s Your Answer? [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.dangerouslyirrelevant.org/2007/05/well_whats_your.html
Shelly, G., Gunter, G. & Gunter, R. (2012). Teachers Discovering Computers: Integrating Technology in a Connected World (7th Ed.). Boston, MA: Course Technology.
T., Shayni. (2012, July 15). TeacherFiles – A Free Educational Resource. [Web clip-art]. Retrieved from http://www.teacherfiles.com/clip_art.htm