Saturday, December 15, 2012

Schooly Non-Discussables

I just read Miguel Guhlin's post The Undiscussables of Tech Leadership (as well as a few other thought-provoking blog posts from his blog, Around the Corner).

I've worked (hard) for 20 years to be the best educator I can be. do my best to understand, both in an academic sense and in a pragmatic, experiential way, what that even means.

Part of me believes that it's all perspective. Being a tech leader (or now, just a leader having taken out  "edtech" from the title since it's all just "ed" in 2012, right?) at a small school I go back and forth from positive to negative, frustration to optimism. In no particular order and not tech-related, here are a few things that I just do not get-

-Why do some teachers firmly believe that textbooks and teacher's guides are a necessity in order to "cover all the material?"

-We do we think covering material means learning has occurred?

-Are we too obsessed with technology, gadgets and devices?

-Why are so many children given spelling lists and words to memorize?

-Will we ever agree on what makes a good school or a good teacher?

1 comment:

Amanda Christopher said...


Hi. I too read Miguel Guhlin's post The Undiscussables of Tech Leadership, and after reading your blog post, I would like to comment on our obsession with technology which has lead to BYOD days at my children’s school.

I have a kindergartner and a second grader, who attend a title one school. Their school has recently adapted a BYOD day. When I first heard of the program, I thought about how our society is consumed by technology. What ever happened to good ole show and tell?

At first it was just my second grader begging to take his tablet that Santa had recently delivered. I finally gave in and allowed him to take it but only on Fridays. He says they use them before heading to carline to play games. Interesting, I do not recall the newsletter calling for a babysitting device during the final minutes of school. My kindergartner’s teacher sent a letter home this past Tuesday allowing him to bring his tablet to school. On Wednesday afternoon, he reported, “All we did was look at learning activities. I don’t want to take it anymore.” I chuckled at this because that morning at drop off he was so excited about taking his tablet to school.

I’m not pleased with the reports on the initial BYOD days. With all the learning sites and apps available, I wonder why my second grader’s teacher allows her students to play popular games. I feel like if teachers are going to give into our society’s obsession of gizmos and gadgets, they should utilize the resources the technology offers to the classroom. After all, students are not permitted to bring toys to school, and I am not thrilled about sending a $200 toy to school with my elementary student. If kindergartners are exploring learning sites, there is no reason for second graders not to take part in the same activity. I meet with my second grader’s teacher tomorrow; I am hoping to hear that a learning activity is in the works, at least for one of the three of us.