In my daughter’s HS are SMARTboards in every classroom, computer labs so accessible that online testing presented limited problems, enough ipads for classes to check out and a BYOD policy that enabled teachers to utilize student devices. In addition, the wifi connectivity is amazing. On the surface, void of a schoolwide 1:1, this is a decent tech setup. However, what was missing was how to best navigate the waters of a flood of tools.
My daughter graduated at the top of her HS class with an extremely limited tech vocabulary. At most, she utilized Microsoft Word and ppt, what her teachers knew. With the exception of her AVID class this year, where she and a team made a video, technology was ignored throughout her education.
The harsh reality is that regardless of who is willing to admit it or not, this happens across the country in schools everywhere.
In a perfect world, teachers would self-train. They would get on the web, take a class, join a network and connect with other educators to learn how to implement multiple strategies. In the real world, this doesn’t happen. Instead, teachers are given a “minimum tech-hour” requirement and while some will seek out training, others are left to engage in what is offered at the last minute…which happens as the school year closes.
Often, we see schools spend the money on toys but lack the investment in implementation. Training is critical to technology integration. Not every adult is growth-minded or naturally creative. We have to remember that. That is our reality.
The really sad part is that this school is the reality amongst many that ARE connected and sadly their voices are not loud enough to overcome the stagnant mindset that exists. This is not okay. This whole idea of “You can’t be a profit in your own land” must change.
If you are at a school such as this and your tweets reflect a different reality, the truth is the first step to change. Own it, change it and be the difference.
The fact remains that while the social web “appears” to have their ed-tech life in check, thousands of students live in a world void of tools with teachers void of knowledge or a voice in which to display it.
What does a school such as this do to change the mindset of how we look at the use of technology? It comes from understanding WHY TECH MATTERS and making provisions for that to be the case.
How can we take the skills and energy from the chorus within twitter-land to the schools of disconnectedness? Surely, we have the power to make a difference. Surely YOU have that power.
I welcome your thoughts.