I am around two groups of educators. Those who are extremely technical and those who chose not to. The divide is getting greater and greater. As I approach the fifth anniversary of my website www.carolbroos.com I find it amazing that others have not jumped at the idea to do web 2.0 with their students and continue to use the same tools as they did as a child: paper tests and planners. Some teachers have chosen to ignore that technology even exists in education. But, they use email, DVR’s, and cell phones. So, when they attack me on having the “techie” gene, I am going to comment back that maybe writing a letter would be better than email, and I have some VHS tapes at home they can use to tape their shows.
In any other part of education if a teacher would say “I don’t read,” or “I’m not interested,” people would wonder why they are a teacher. For to be a teacher is to have that thirst of knowledge. To be an effective teacher you need to be aware of how your students live life. The comment, “They are going to have to learn…” is no longer the battle cry, The battle cry is how are we preparing and educating students on how to teach themselves. For many of the jobs they are going to have may have not been invented yet. They need to learn how to problem-solve issues, learn to ask other for help and create projects that teach others what they have learned. Many teachers are still teaching facts and figures that can easily be googled, then testing on memorization of facts.
The most engaged students I have in my music classroom are the ones that have learned how to teach themselves. My students are more concerned about getting their “work” completed and creating amazing musical projects. Isn’t that what we want? To only learn from me is quite limiting, but to learn from others across the globe is empowering. There are no walls of knowledge in my classroom. For technology is much like a musical instrument, the more you practice the better you get. My students understand how to practice technology and how to learn from others across the globe.
Some of these educator’s excuses are “I want my students to interact and not be in front of a screen.” or “I want my students to play outside and enjoy nature.” It just shows me how little they know about technology. It is NOT just sitting in front of a screen and there are amazing outdoor activities that students can participate in that use technology. Ever heard of GPS, ah right, most of these teachers use it in their car. They simply do not want to learn themselves.
So, as I begin my thirty-third year of teaching I am no longer going to accept the comment “I’m not techie,” from teachers, administration, or parents. It is no longer an excuse. My incoming fourth graders were all born in the 21st century. That is the reason.