Sunday, August 29, 2010

Are we doing what's best for students....

I have been wrestling with this question for the past 3 years when I stepped into an administrative role. But this is a completely loaded question that is decieiving. Dr McLeod doesn't really want to answer this question with anything but technology and that is not the only answer. Technology has it's place. The world has changed and living in denial or refusal to participate won't get us to the answer but neither will believing that technology is the only answer.

I will be the last to defend lazy teachers in fact I was in support of portions of SB6 last year, but the assumption of the video is that teachers who don't use technology are the problem with education. This thinking makes me question Dr. McLeod's credentials. Of course kids like using twitter and facebook, it keeps them connected to their peers so they can stay abreast of all the important gossip that helps them fit in. When I was in high school I loved instant messanger for the same reason but I wasn't using it for anything meaningful and if I would have had to I wouldn't have liked it so much.

Does Dr. McLeod really have education in mind when he unleashed this question/video? Or does he just want to see his stock soar becuase he happens to sit on a board for one of the companies that has made their billions through promising to have the silver bullet for education?

So why do teachers tend to do what is convenient for them. I don't think it's because they don't want to be good teachers. Perhaps its because the job itself is too big and requires too much. Why don't students read every bit of required reading? It's because we've learned that we don't have to in order to pass. Perhaps teachers really aren't doing anything well because their is only time to do everything just a little bit right. Characters in the movies like Freedom Writers and Dangerous Minds are glorified in our field because of their dedication. Let us not forget that the main character's dedication in Freedom Writers destroyed her marriage.

On a philosophical level, perhaps the path of least resistence is human nature? Why do we have cart returns at the grocery store? Is walking it back up to the store too much for us?

The job is too big and miopic thinking displayed by Dr. Mcleod and others like him won't truly answer his loaded question.