I have been trying to write this blog for several weeks now. It is intended to be a follow up to my last post asking educators if we are speaking the same language as our students. The more and more I follow other educators on twitter, the more I see we are writing the same posts, having the same discussions on #edchat and #educoach, and starting discussions on our own trying to find a solution to the same problems across the globe. We are continuously talking about the elephant in the room and collaborating great ideas on how to move forward, but has anything really been done? Has anyone came up with a good plan to get teachers to stop teaching twentieth century practices to a class of twenty-first century learners? And has anyone put anything into practice that requires teachers to take ownership of their own professional development and join sites such as Twitter or Google+ to actively participate in a world of educators who want to promote global learning?
Those of us that have adopted this new and exciting world of Google+, Twitter, and other Professional Development forums have realized the importance of integrating technology in the classroom and into our own professional lives as a commitment to life long learning. But how many of us teach next door to a teacher who has never heard of a hash tag? Or a hangout? Or even a bookmark site like Diigo or Instapaper? How many connected teachers mention the application Delicious and other teachers ask if it is a free online cookbook?
Of course, administration is going to have to be the initiative, but in many schools it is the administrators that are the problem. I am lucky. I teach in a school that encourages me to be creative. I have an administrator that wants technology in the classroom and encourages sites like Twitter for professional development. Even with my administration on board, there are still teachers who only use their computer for email and grade book which is district mandated. These teachers feel that since they were never taught how to use new technology, they are not accountable for teaching it to themselves or to students in the classroom.
The digital world is creating a whole new definition of illiteracy. Are these teachers going to be considered illiterate? Should the definition of illiteracy include not being able to understand # and @ symbols? Should there be high stakes for teachers who do not upgrade to a new teaching model?
This commercial below is my all time favorite. It was an ad Wal-Mart put out this Halloween. After watching it several times I realized that it is not just children who feel they are not accountable for the things they aren’t taught, but also some of the educators that teach them.