Teacher Accountability for Tech Proficiency?

My last post dealt with the issue of how schools teach technology to students. Student access to and proficiency with technology is important if we are to prepare students for the 21st century work force. However, examining student tech use is not the only concern. The tech community also recognizes that student learning can be helped or hindered by teacher tech knowledge and integration. Teachers should understand and be able to integrate current technologies, but often lack the motivation, knowledge and/or skill to do so.

These days, it isn’t enough to teach in one content area or even multiple subjects; educators need to commit to career-long professionalism. Teachers are also expected to be self-motivated, flexible in their approaches to teaching, and competent. School leaders and parents are leaning on teachers to be more current and integrative with their technology use to no avail. Teacher tech proficiency is spotty at most school sites and teachers who don't understand technology cannot effectively integrate it in their classrooms. Students are the ones who suffer.

At what point do we insist on teacher tech proficiency? Do teachers have a responsibility to stay current in our field? To learn new technologies? To share new tech knowledge with students? I say they do. What do you think?

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Jenith works full time for Newport-Mesa USD as the Director of Education Technology, working closely with K-12 administrators, teachers, students and parents and supporting them with technology integration. She also teaches in the Masters of Learning technologies (MALT) Program at Pepperdine University. Recently, Jenith completed her Ed.D in Educational Technology also at Pepperdine University. She sits on the board of the Down Syndrome Foundation (DSF) and Newport Mesa Administrator's Association (NMAA). She is a member of the following organizations: ISTE, CUE, ACM, AERA. In her spare time, she works with her sister to run their non-profit foundation, Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County and hangs out with her three Labrador Retrievers.