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I'm the instructor who said that my only worry is that I may make my own job obsolete. Please let me clarify that. I did not mean that my job as a teacher would become obsolete. I don't see the role of teachers lessoning in any way, and hope that will never happen. I believe our society is dependent upon those individuals who are continually trained and dedicated to helping our children learn.
My current job is as a "technology coach," teaching teachers how to incorporate technology into the classroom and how to get students to use critical thinking to solve problems and answer questions. If I do my job right, teachers will learn these essential skills so that our children will become higher funcioning adults in the technological world we all see as our future.
Essentially, my job is done when the teacher no longer needs me to show them what the computer (along with other technology) can do for them. This is my goal, and I fervently hope to reach it. In doing so, I believe I will be helping usher in a new generation of great thinkers.
"God help us if schools were eliminated. If you have ever been around home schoolers the first thing you notice is that they tend to be advanced, high verbal and very adult oriented. But they have no social or group skills."
Schools won't be eliminated. They'll be left behind. Not by the kind of homeschoolers you describe, who I don't care for myself, but by those of us who value educational efficiency over your kind of arrogance.
I teach at a school that operates entirely online. Students can enroll with us either full-time or part-time. It is perfect for traveling athletes, and students who are easily distracted or on suspension. A student who is really skilled in a course would benefit from taking it online during an independent study class, but they would prefer the regular classroom for a course they are weaker in. A student who is forced to work at a slow pace often causes discipline problems - letting them work independently allows the teacher to help the students who need it. This is better for everyone. We will always need regular classrooms for extra instruction, personal contact, and courses like drama and home economics.
As a teacher of 12 years, I find inaccuracies in your statement.
I am often in awe at how little many students know about technology. Many students today can kill more people in an hour on their PSP than ever before. In a moment, they can figure out how to quickly advance in levels on their favorite Wii game, but those same students often cannot figure out how to access even the most basic application such as Microsoft Word. We hail students believing that if they are just given technology, they will figure it out more quickly than the veteran teacher. How is it then, that in and High School Honors English class, I am teaching students how to put a header on their paper? How is it that when parents here that I have not reserved the computer lab in order to give students direct instruction on setting up their papers so that it adheres to MLA format, my department chair is called. And, I don't live in the inner cities. I don't live in the country. I live in a very affluent community in which a major university is located.
When I begin speaking to students about other uses for the internet other than Facebook, or the now outdated MySpace, they wonder how I found these new sites. The majority of students with whom I've worked in three different states, four different school districts, believe that the end all be all resource for information gathering is Wikipedia.
Proof, though, will be requested.
Yesterday, one of my tenth grade honors students came up to me. She was attempting to complete her project on an independent novel assignment. She had used an application called SmartIdea to create a collage; an application I had never used before. She told me that it was impossible for her to print from the application. Within three minutes, I had created a pdf of her work, a word document of her work, and, sent one version to a local printer. I also re-formated the image so that she could add text around it. She looked at me and said, "I thought you had never used this program before." I hadn't.
Just because a person can surf the web, just because a person can download movies and songs to an iPod or MP3 player, just because a person can attain a new cell phone and begin using it immediately does not mean that he understands how to use technology. All of these types of technology are used to create income for their producers. The creators of these technology are smart enough to make them so that a person of very low education and intelligence will be able to access them. How else will they sell?
Let's take the word traditional out of the equation. If education stops using real live people, then some of the most important skills that are necessary to function in the workplace will be lost forever. As long as people believe that education is only about specific objectives, and not overall human growth, this type of question will continue to receive press. When people realize that the acquisition of facts is only one aspect of the modern classroom, whether public or private, then they will begin to realize the importance of the teacher and technology as a tool to increase understanding and growth.
By CHARLES LUSSIER
Advocate staff writer
Published: Mar 26, 2008 - Page: 1B - UPDATED: 12:20 a.m. The man often described as the “father of Head Start” told a Baton Rouge audience Tuesday the 43-year experiment with a federal system of child care has failed to live up to its potential and is being slowly superseded by a patchwork of state-run preschool programs.
“Things are as bad in child care as they were 30 years ago,” retired Yale University professor and child psychologist Edward Zigler said.
Zigler, 77, is promoting School of the 21st Century, a program of school-based community centers aimed at filling the gaps left by Head Start and similar programs. The new program, overseen by a policy center at Yale named after Zigler, is in 1,300 schools across the country.
any questions.... let's move it on.... change~!
Public Schools should go away or be completely disassemebled ---the outdated methods of teaching in many P.S.'s are obsolete and we hang onto the "teachers unions" to protect those who are getting ready to retire- and that's sums that part up.
Inner city kids are failing... as usual we highly promote those stats but rarely make an impact in that area but we love our stats.... Why Head Start has been around for years...it's a baby sitting service with little impact-- read the data. Just as NCLB is another data collection service for what do we do with the data? Label the schools as failing...we already know this. Failing and literally falling apart.
Colleges with teacher preparatory programs have so many professors of the non-digital age and many don't even own a computer and have doubts and fears about technology themselves...iPods and new technologies the kids still know more IT than their a 30 year old teacher. Forget about professors so many are in their 60's and in the pre-digital age like dinasaurs. Some should be extinct.
P.S.'s are falling apart we don't care to support their upkeep and give the private schools applause here!
How do I know some of this? 20 plus years of trying to "teach" teachers computer.
Most are reluctant to learn about it and worse don't have any clue how to integrate technology into their classrooms.... they don't have the skill sets themselves and it is hard for them... it really is. They are the reluctant learners not the students!
Sure some do try and many are forced to by their school systems, but many are still are divisive and would rather be in a tradtional 1900 classroom with rows of chairs or in a lecture hall preaching to the crowd.
Change, change, change is needed and the next generation of the Digital College Professors we shall see what will be left of Public Education if anything.
Technology is a productivity tool and as long as we have "technology" there will always be a need for designers, producers and maintainers of these tools, both software and hardware. In the 70's as the microchip revolution took off a wave of fear was set off because of the incoming robotics and the loss of jobs.
Did we build automated car plants - yes.
Did people lose jobs as a result - yes.
Were more cleaner higher skilled jobs created - yes.
Did mass unemployment result - No.
Did people become more skilled and have higher earnings - yes.
The point to learn from history is that those who are reluctant to take up new technologies will slowly become marginalized by the swathe of people who do. It is critical therefore, no imperative, that we equip our children with 21st century skills.
We won't lose our jobs because of technology we will lose our jobs by failing to to recognize the role technology plays within our lives.
To the comment about teachers being illiterate about technology, yeah we are, especially the more mature among us. I typed my term papers for my M.Ed. on a "state of the art" IBM Correcting Selectric typewriter in the early 1980s and discovered the Internet in 2002. But it is not that we don't want to learn. We are learning to use technology at work and at home. And it is very cool. I am working on my Ed.S online. There are some things I cannot do, like create and send a zip file. Sometimes I have trouble sending attachments and one time I accidentally saved 23 hours of Fox News on my hard drive on my work computer---something happened when I used Win TV. I don't know, but thank God that school was technology oriented and the onsite technology person rescued me. I had to get her several times last year. But eventually I will have a webpage and I can make a mean Power Point. The tech from Assistive Technology (special ed.) taught me to do that.
There is nothing like some good old hands-on personalized staff development to teach a teacher what she needs to know. And guess who you get that from---a teacher!
Younger teachers coming up teethed on computers. They got Writing to Read in Pre-K. Where our mamas bought us books as toddlers, today they get a Leap Pad and computer disks. With a Touch Window an 18 month old baby can use a computer.
The average high school student probably knows more about using technology than I ever will, but I know how to teach anything I can understand and I can make children literate---with or without it, because I am a teacher. If you can't read, the value of technology is limited.
God help us if schools were eliminated. If you have ever been around home schoolers the first thing you notice is that they tend to be advanced, high verbal and very adult oriented. But they have no social or group skills. I taught a class in Vacation Bible School in which about half the 8-9 year olds were homeschooled. They could not walk in a line take turns or share, were afraid of being molested in the church restroom even if there were no adults in there, did not take care of the autistic child who was in the class and ensure that he was included, and were unhappy with the simple crafts and snacks that make most elementary students happy. They also tried to take over the lessons and show off how much they knew. One kept talking about violence and drawing pictures of guns and another 8 year old was sure he had already been called to be a preacher and ran the sound system at his church. The only time they were happy was in sports activities. Their parents had them involved in recreational leagues. They were like little worlds revolving around themselves. I wonder how they will function in society as adults.
There are also some religious schools that have the children working from workbooks all day long sitting in little cubicles. They don't hire real teachers and they just have monitors who keep the kids working. The pastor/principal of one school said that the child puts up a little flag if he needs assistance. He was more concerned that someone was hired to "teach" a class that she was active in a church than what skills she had and insisted on having the interview in my home! This was a while back, but I saw a similar system used as late as 2003 in a school that used the ABEKA curriculum.
I can see where students who live in extremely isolated areas, underdeveloped countries and who have isolating illnesses might have to go to school by computer as an alternative to being illiterate, but frankly, online learning is for adults and perhaps very bright high school students with excellent self discipline. I am not sure that a lot of college level undergrads could do it. I am saying this because I am taking classes for an Ed.S. on line. It is not easy and interaction with the teacher is an important part of the learning as are discussions and responses from others enrolled in the same class. Technology can complement and supplement teacher interaction, but I don't believe it can replace it, especially for children.
No, we will not become obsolete because children need human contact to learn. The only way that could happen is if No Child gets stronger and the absolute only thing that is focused on is testing so the child spends the whole day on the computer.
However, there will still be a need for a teacher to reinforce the lessons and make sure they stay on task.
Plus, even if regular education went totally computer based, special ed. never will because we do so much that is education related and provide special guidance and assistance that cannot be done with technology.