Unrealistic Expectations: Wanting Teachers to Incorporate Technology but Not Requiring It?

No Computer AnythingImage by deanj via Flickr
We would never ask a teacher to teach something that they had no experience.  It would be unfair and something we just wouldn't do. 

Or would we?

In fact, that is what is happening right now.  Across the country, colleges are putting out teachers that are not required to take a course in technology. Droves of teachers are emerging into classrooms not knowing what a blog or wiki is and how to select tools for their classrooms as appropriate.

Do we wonder why so many obstacles exist?  Do we know that right now, if we want to have competitive students in this technology -rich world that we must equip their teachers with competitive technology skills?

We had a discussion tonight at the table in Maine about just how many states out there do not require any sort of technology course AT ALL for their teachers.  Zip. Zero. Nada.

So, don't be surprised when the students in your school don't get technology in their classes.  Zip. Zero. Nada.

The teachers are just doing what they were trained to do.

 Every teacher in the United States should receive at least one course in technology integration.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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coolcatteacher October 26, 2010 - 6:11 am

I too haven’t been “trained” and have pretty much taught myself. The practice of building a pLN and having an RSS reader. This is not to make an excuse. It is however, to point out a horrible inconsistency. Teachers CANNOT wait – they have to jump in and learn. However, it is a grave disservice and totally preposterous for many people blaming teachers for not using technology when they are clueless and coming out of education school WITHOUT any training in technology at all! This is just horrible!

I’m not excusing teachers from learning. However, it is not OK to excuse colleges and universities for not doing their job by producing the best teachers in the world who are competent in twenty first century skills. This blame doesn’t belong on the teachers but rather on those who create the curriculum for preservice teachers.

Thank you for your comments, Roger, you have excellent points.

coolcatteacher October 26, 2010 - 6:13 am

Yes. This is why the state technology conferences are front and center in the effort to help educators learn and understand technology and, for the most part, are some of the best professional development programs out there.

Healigan October 27, 2010 - 4:54 am

I am a “new ” teacher: only 5 years, but this is my third career, so I am over 50 (the upsid of 50? everyone thinks I am experienced). I was not trained as a teacher and my masters is in Literature. So I too learned tech as fast as I could when they were gracious enough to hand me a MacBook on my arrival at this school. The number of young teachers I have met (thankfully, not in my department) who ask me for help, or who have been out of school for less than 5 years and have had no training in tech is depressing. Several that I know are now working on their masters in educational technology. It is a crime that they start the profession already behind. How do we change this sad fact?

coolcatteacher October 27, 2010 - 5:00 am

I think we have to call attention to this point as many college professors are also doing when their courses in computer technology are relegated to the non-essential elective that many choose not to take because of their fear of technology.

Mold Removal Texhoma October 30, 2010 - 5:38 am

This assumes of course that the professors themselves understand what quality technology integration is.thanks for the site.

Mold Testing Plantation November 2, 2010 - 12:46 pm

Great site.Thanks,

Grout Sealing April 16, 2011 - 4:44 am

Good article. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free.

Comments are closed.

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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere