I have been spending a lot of time Tweeting and reading blogs this past week (oh the luxury of holidays) and it seems to me that a recurrent theme is ‘teachers who are and teachers who aren’t’ embracing technology.
So this week I am attempting to reflect on why I have chosen to push myself to the limits of my technological abilities, to spend my holidays, tweeting and blogging, to wake at 5.00am writing comments in my head, oh yes and still try to find time for a much needed break.
To my mind there are two schools of thought here. A dominant one being that if you can’t keep up then get out of the classroom. Stuhasic’s recent blog calls for 2010 to be the year of the connected teacher. I agree but why do many others not?
Personally, for me it is definitely boredom, I cannot for the life of me understand how any teacher can just keep on repeating the same program year after year. This will be my fifth year teaching year 5 at my current school and every year I have updated, re-written or generally tweaked parts of my program every term. I find that by doing that I become reinvigorated and interested in what I am teaching. I become a learner too. Even the dreaded marking becomes interesting when it’s something new. Perhaps I am lucky? I work in a private school and as long as my program fits certain guidelines and is approved by my head then I can pretty much follow any path I want. Am I alone in this?
So by deliberately choosing to follow this path my interest in and thus the integration of technology into my daily routine has grown without my even trying to make it.
My other reason is engagement, again this seems so logical to me, a student who is interested and engaged in their own learning does not cause problems in the classroom. Interested students = good students = happy teacher.
So perhaps that’s it. I work hard, planning, sourcing, devising and programming units which I think will interest and engage my students and in return I have a classroom generally full of motivated, happy well-behaved students. Naturally I am integrating more and more technology into my lessons as I know how effective this is in creating interest.
Result – I go to work happy every day. I love my job. I love my students (well most of them, most of the time). I may be exhausted but I am always happy.
I just need to work out the $64 000 question as posed by Ianinsheffield How do we persuade those teachers who are reluctant to take up the challenge?