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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7 thoughts on “Unrealistic Expectations: Wanting Teachers to Incorporate Technology but Not Requiring It?

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

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