On Friday I presented to some of my colleagues about podcasting in the classroom to great success. I was very impressed with how willing my colleagues were to go outside thier comfort level and learn a new way to connect with students on a new medium. Presenting in front of my colleagues successfully left me excited for what the future holds.
I was thinking about how fortunate I was to be able to teach these colleagues dedicated to using technology as a way to make assist in students’ learning. It is a step in the right direction for our district and I am excited to be a part of it.
I consider myself lucky because I work at a district where both professional development is a big part of what we do and we are just beginning to explore technology. In my dealings with the 4 districts I have worked at along with numerous conversations with colleagues from other districts I have come to the realization that when it comes to the desire to integrate technology in curriculum, there are 3 types of teachers.
The first type of teacher is the type that embraces technology, wants to learn all about it and furthermore wants to learn best practices in using technology for student learning. These teachers are not only attending but also presenting at conferences like ICE and NECC and EduCon and fully embrace learning about learning. They not only fully embrace it they understand it and able to explain it to others. These teachers are the conduits for change within a district.
The second type of teacher is a teacher who wants to be like the first teacher but just doesn’t understand the technology quite yet. They strive to do what’s best for the student, and they realize that although they have been successful in the classroom in the past, the rules of engagment are changing when it comes to student learning and they want to help students learn the best way they can. This type of teacher can be best personified by one of my colleagues who is highly respected by both teachers and students showed up at my session on podcasting and said in all honesty “I’m here for the Comcast thing…”. Technology isn’t his forte, however he realizes the importance of it in terms of student learning and he wants what is best for his students so he is attending professional development opportunities where he can learn how to best do it.
The third type of teachers are the “nay-sayers.” We as teachers all know someone in their building who is this teacher. They have their lesson plans established and have been successful (or not) in allowing students in the past to learn. They shrug off technology as a fad, or something that doesn’t have that important of a place in the classroom. These are the teachers that hold progress back in the name of past successes or perhaps out of an unwillingness to learn something new. These are the hardest teachers to change when it comes to interweaving technology into our curriculum. These teachers are the ones I would like to some day reach, but still struggle on the how.
In the future we will explore current thoughts and ideas of allowing student learning to be fostered by technology and how to reach that 3rd type of teacher while continuing to foster the learning of the 2nd and 1st type of teachers. I am inspried my colleagues to become more knowledgable about current trends in educational technology and am motivated by my students and their learning in my class as we continue exploring technology in the classroom.