In reading a post by Karl Fisch on his blog, The Fischbowl, I gained some insight into the reason he believes that educators should be technologically literate. His writing in this post seems to be rather frank. He is stating that educators should not be allowed to be technologically illiterate and stay employed. He says that students deserve better than to be taught by educators that are not willing to learn to keep up with the material media they are teaching. If technology is to be a part of the future of educating our children then his statements certainly have a ring of truth about them.
I will quote a statement Mr. Fisch makes that summarizes his point of view on the topic:
"If a teacher today is not technologically literate - and is unwilling to make the effort to learn more - it's equivalent to a teacher 30 years ago who didn't know how to read and write."
He has a point. You can link to his blog here and read it if you like:
I also watched the video below:
While I was watching the beginning of this video I recalled so many hours I have spent in lecture halls just like the one there. I have waited on the professor to write out a word, waited for him to repeat phrases over and over so everyone can copy what he's saying until their hands are cramping. I hated it. Class settings like that really make getting an education more like a chore than a learning experience. If it were a flow chart it might look like this:
Spend 1000 dollars on tuition and a book---->Show up for Class---->Listen to Professor Tell you facts---->Write them down---->Memorize as many as you can---->Take Test---->Forget it all (Oh, and hope you can sell the book for half of what you paid for it).
What are we paying for? Now that I am a sophomore in College I am mostly relieved that many of the prerequisites have been met for my undergraduate studies. There are a few left to trudge through. I hope my children don't face the same experience I have had. Increasing cost for college does not yield increasing value. I only hope that my graduate classes being more specialized will be more interesting.
I read a post by Kelly Hines on the Edurati Review website: http://eduratireview.com/2009/04/its-not-about-technology.html/
In her post she talks about how technology alone is not the solution to our current educational system's problems. Mrs. Hines says we need to change the whole thing. She discusses four major points in her post.
First she says that teachers need to continue to be "learners". She says they need to be self motivated and go above and beyond what is required of them by their employers. She has a good point here. What person in any profession with no enthusiasm for what they do can really excel at it? And don't our students deserve teachers that are enthusiastic? I feel that they do. My kids have had several teachers and we have been blessed with a few that are really great at what they do. Those were some of the best years for my kids in school. When their teacher is excited about getting them to learn they get excited about it too.
Second Mrs. Hines says that Learning and teaching are not the same. She declares that if learning hasn't occurred then teaching hasn't either. This I also agree with. If a contractor is hired to fix my electricity and comes to my house and works on my wires without fixing it, did he do his job? Nope. He sure wouldn't get my money.
The third point she makes is that technology is wasted with out good teaching. I can attest to this. I have been in EDM 310 for three weeks and have finally learned to use my computer! I am really excited about this. Just watching videos and reading articles like Kelly Hines' I have learned things about teaching that have me excited about my future career.
Finally she says that teachers of the 21st century need to first be able to teach important skills without relying on technology. One such skill she addresses is critical thinking. In a world that is more competitive every day with a rapidly changing political climate critical thinking skills are so important. People have so much information to process on a daily basis. In order to be a participant in our global community critical thinking is vital. With out critical thinking how can students make use of the great volumes of information available to them through technology?
The article by Mrs. Hines is worth taking the time to read. I hope that this movement towards improving education continues to gain momentum.
In looking at the figures below, I am definitely convinced that our future educators are going to have to learn to use technology in order to keep up with students. It isn't a bad thing. When I was little you had to have an expensive collection of encyclopedias to do a research project at home. And even if you had them, the material became outdated with no way of refreshing it. Now all information is available in all types of formats to suit all types of learners. It is awesome.