“There is no doubt that our students will one day have ubiquitous access to technology. There IS reason to doubt that they will have ubiquitous access to a teacher capable of using technology to reinforce student learning” (Lawless and Pellegrino, 2007).
While I am inspired and in awe of the initiatives taking place in education today, the implications of the quote above keep me up at night. Integrating technology is fantastic, but if there isn’t a teacher in the classroom with the proper beliefs and practices, then we are investing in very expensive paperweights. Even worse, kids today “know better.”
When I was a student, the best I could hope for in my school day was a book, paper, and a pencil. Today, kids have access to teachers who are eLearning rockstars. These kids leave the rockstar teacher’s room, and head into a classroom with THE SAME TECHNOLOGY, but a teacher who just “doesn’t get it.” When I observe these kids, they don’t just look bored - they appear sad. They KNOW learning can be more engaging and effective, and this awareness makes the “doesn’t get it” teacher even less powerful.
In order to ensure that ALL students have access to a rockstar teacher, we must offer professional
|Mike and Sully in the Scare Games|
As a recovering administrator, I remember how impossible it seemed to get EVERY teacher on the same page - especially with technology integration. While it is very difficult, with the proper methods and expectations it can be done. Otherwise, how do we choose which student has the “rockstar” teacher and which student has the “doesn’t get it teacher?” Which classroom should we put your child in? The only way to ensure equal access and opportunities for all of our students is by making a strong commitment to providing as much professional learning as it takes to get all teachers across the finish line together.