I remember the first time I ever tried using email with the students as a means to communicate. Within seconds of the class starting I had a fire storm erupting around the room as they posted nasty things about each other and no one could trace who had sent it. Yup, I shut it down and yelled at the kids!!Years later I tried a blog with the kids. I started off this time keeping it closed so that what ever happened in the room stayed there. I let the kids "communicate" with each other for 30 seconds and then showed them that I could and would track every word that they put in the blog and how I would know who wrote it. I had to learn and do the homework before I let the kids try using a blog and or wiki. I had to know everything about the process first. I had to be taught in order to ensure that it was safe and worthwhile. Only then is it a worthwhile learning experience.
I am still learning to work with technology in my classroom. It is a difficult proposition to move from a traditional classroom environment to a more fluid place where students are given an opportunity to grow and experiment with the many different opportunities that await them. With that said, even when I try to loosen the control and allow responsibility to flow to the students an inevitable problem will arise (like a "butthead" comment on a google docs form). As we utilize technology on a more regular basis, these problems may diminish or increase only time will tell (the higher the wall is built the taller the ladder will be).
I agree that teachers need support to use technology. I am not sure being "taught" is as important as it sounds. I think of technology as analogous to math manipulatives to enhance learning. I think, for me, I need a PLC like MICE to learn about new tools and technologies. I want to play with it myself and figure it out and then come back and share and see how other people are using it to add function to my repertoire for that piece of software. However, really when it comes down to it I have to play with it myself for it really to make sense, for me to anticipate the snags and create a work around that satisfies my needs, I don’t think anyone can ‘teach’ me that. I tend to think that more times than not I need more help understanding the hardware vs. the software. I am not always sure about how all the pieces communicate with each other to obtain the product I am looking for. This is more technical than technology, and I seek experts, but then I need my MICE to glean new ways or more purposeful ways to use those technology pieces.
I believe this statement is reminding us that we need to learn how to use the technology that is available in ways that will enhance student learning. We need to help our students learn how to interact with technology and use it to help advance their knowledge rather than just as an image that is projected on a big screen. In order to accomplish this, teachers need to be taught how to make this happen as many are unaware of how many of the new technologies work.
I know that I need to be taught and honestly, more than once. I think that teachers need time to try and use new technologies in their class and see how it works in their environment. Then, I think we need follow ups with theses same people, maybe a coffee shop meet up to see how it worked and to get feedback and advice from others. We need more peer time, I learn better from others, especially from the bright MICE team.
I totally agree with this statement. I am seen as someone who uses a bunch of technology. However, to be totally honest, I rarely feel like I am using it is the most effective manner.