Published today, on Education Week: “Why Ed Tech is Not Transforming How Teachers Teach“.
The article explains that while technology is in the classroom and schools, many teachers have not embraced the full vision set forth by edtech enthusiasts. What’s the holdup?
- Teacher beliefs/philosophies regard effective instruction
- Inadequate professional development on new technologies and technology integration in the classroom.
- School polices that don’t encourage effective experimenting by teachers in order to fully explain, troubleshoot, and use technology to its full potential for their particular subject
- Teachers use technology for teacher-driven instruction rather than student-driven instruction (i.e. use if for themselves or an end-unit project rather than have students discover and learn content for the first time using technology).
- Standardized testing reinforces a more teacher-driven instruction style.
So in other words, while the new, hip teachers want to integrate technology, the older, veteran teachers discourage that behavior because “that’s not how we teach here”. This idea is then reinforced through inadequate professional development and a lack of support by administration. Therefore, they revert back to teacher-driven instruction while they dream of student-driven instruction in order keep their job that is dependent on standardized test scores. In 5 years, these new teachers will no longer be okay with the suppression of expression and desire for student-driven instruction over standardized testing any longer; they will end up resigning from teaching. And, they still will have a mountain of student debt left to pay back.
It is this sad story that accelerated my leaving the classroom and tutoring privately. During my classroom observations and student teaching, I felt that edtech was encouraged, but instruction was still teacher-driven because that’s how teaching works. It’s how you prove you’re actually “teaching”. I felt I was doing a ton of work and the students were just sitting there, spacing out and doodling. A few students participated, but most were just conditioned to just sit back and let “school” happen. They put in their 6 hours hours of doing whatever the teacher wanted so their parents would get off their backs about not getting a 4.0 and that’s it. There was very little smiling, laughter, or student-driven learning. In fact, few were actually there because they wanted to.
I hope enough new teachers stick it out until student-driven instruction with technology is the norm. I also hope that veteran teachers either embrace student-driven instruction with technology or move out of the way in favor of change. Edtech is here to stay and it needs to be integrated.
Guest Post by: Luz Barnett
It could definitely be a dream come true for anyone to become a teacher. Lucky are those who pursues their dream of becoming a professional teacher. Then again for those who seems to have a dream of becoming a teacher but still not sure if they can make it happen since they sometimes feel lack of confidence along the way. It is a big responsibility becoming a teacher and it should really be taken seriously.
Having a Degree in Education is actually a bonus factor for anyone, but even if you don’t have that Degree, you can still prove that you can be a teacher on your own ways.
1. Put Some Goals First – teaching can actually is something that anyone can enjoy, most of all if you really have that interest on it. Therefore, it is a must that you have to make some goals when you plan to teach. In everything that you do especially if you are determined to really make a career out of teaching, it will be very important if you make a goal ahead of time. It is something that some may try to forget but is considered to be one of the most important factor.
2. Reading Books and Guides – lucky are those who are having some formal knowledge on how to become an effective teacher. But, for those who seems to be struggling or simply wants to learn more it will be more appropriate to read books, article and some how-to guide in becoming an effective teacher. When you tend to depend on some books, it will actually help you on how to improve your teaching skills. Reading can actually be a good motivation in the field of teaching, it will also help you when it comes in thinking some ways on how teaching be done in an easy manner.
3. Have a Mentor to Depend On – of course it will be impossible to just go forward in teaching without having some experience. It is important that you have experience but when you try to lack on this matter, it is advisable to look for a mentor that will certainly guide you until the end. You cannot always pretend to be the best in the field of teaching when you know that your knowledge about the matter are not enough.
Dreaming big is one of the thing that every people should try to work on. Just like when you have that dream of becoming one of the effective teacher, it does not need to be too complicated. The idea that you can also have that self-study skills can be a big advantage, because even though you do not have that proper program in the field of Education you can therefore be capable to teach in the ways that you know. Anyone can be able to teach as long as you want to take it seriously, it does not need to look too complicated with it for there are actually a lot of ways on how teaching can be done. It’s just a matter of how persistent are you in achieving the goal that you want the most.
Luz Barnett, a student taking up a Creative Writing Degree and a part-time writer at an essay writing service. She is a free-spirited type of woman who is not afraid to challenge her skills and talents. You can add her through her Google+.