Please take a moment to look at the following names. Perhaps you recognize them, perhaps you do not.
Google them if you wish........
but they all have at least two things in common.
So, did you figure it out?
#1 They are all teachers
#2 They never used a computer, smart phone, Interactive White Board, wrote a blog post, created a wiki, or joined an online global project.
So, why is that important? Because I know you can easily dismissed this with the thought they were teachers "in their time" and used whatever opportunities that they had available. (Which may or may not be true.)
I think it is time that someone stands up and says that the teachers of today are NOT better than the teachers of our yesteryears. I turned out pretty well, I am sure you did as well. As well as did each of the students of teachers I listed.
Max Talmey -- teacher of Einstein
Socrates -- teacher of Plato
Frederic Roser -- teacher of Eleanor Roosevelt
Mr. Douglass -- teacher of Thomas Jefferson
Michael D'Ornaleas -- teacher of Jennifer Wagner
and don't forget
___________________ -- teacher of YOU!!
The use of technology in the classroom does not and never WILL truly define a teacher of the 21st century or of any century. But lately, in many conversations I have listened to, that seems to a major distinction.
Teachers are criticized for NOT using technology in their classroom. Ostracized at times by their fellow teachers. Using technology has become an indication of teacher performance and effectiveness. It has become an easy target for tech using educators to put non-tech using educators into a inferior group. But I have to wonder, has this just become an easy way to point out a difference that allows the criticizer to perhaps feel superior?
When we begin to label a teacher as effective or not, due to the tools they use (or do not use) we are dismissing the effectiveness of what a teacher truly is. What matters to students is NOT that the teacher can wow on a wiki, be verbose on a blog, or present a prezi with flair. What matters to students is #1 that a teacher cares, #2 that a teacher is prepared and knowledgeable, #3 that a teacher can make mistakes and own up to them, #4 that the teacher does not come to work each day just to earn a paycheck, and #5 that the teacher encourages everyone in the classroom to do their best.
Drawing a distinction between those who do and do not use tech will only widen the chasm between educators who need to be uniting for the benefit and betterment of our students. Casting a criticism over a teacher because of being a non-blogger, non-twitterer, or for using bullets in powerpoint is looking at trivialities rather than substance.
Let's begin to call attention to teachers who are creating classrooms of creativity -- whether in writing, art, debates, music, grammar, math, etc.
Let's begin to call attention who are creating classrooms of concern -- whether in local circumstances, global events, or even within their own classroom.
Let's begin to call attention to teachers who creating classrooms of deep thinking and conversations -- in every subject you can imagine.
Let's begin to call attention to students who are creating classrooms that prepare students for their today, as well as for their tomorrow in a myriad of ways.
Let's begin to call attention to teachers who are creating classrooms of students who look forward to walking into that classroom each and every day and being the teacher that someday that student will say "he or she was the best teacher I ever had."
(and have that student's comment have NOTHING to do with Tech.)
Just my thoughts. I appreciate your thoughts as well.
Max Talmey (Albert Einstein: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein)
Socrates (Plato: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plato)
Frederic Roser (Eleanor Roosevelt: http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=33)
Mr. Douglass (Thomas Jefferson: http://etext.virginia.edu/jefferson/biog/lj01.htm)
Michael D’Ornaleas (Jennifer Wagner, 6th grade, Kit Carson Elementary)
cross posted at: http://www.jenuinetech.com/blog