The beauty of technology can seduce us. The power of technology can lead us to attribute almost “magical” powers to it. As leaders, we need to resist technology’s “Siren’s call”, pause, and reflect.
Scott McLeod posts a great question over at Dangerously Irrelevant:
“Given the realities of the modern age and the demands of our children’s future, is it really okay to allow teachers to choose whether or not they incorporate modern technology into their instruction?”
Do I believe that simply requiring teachers to use technology tools will transform teaching and learning? What real change will happen when we put technology tools in the hands of these teachers?
Mr. Total Control
Miss Overly Structured
Mrs. Entertains from the Front of the Class
Mr. Blame the Kids
Miss Low Expectations
Mrs. No Confidence No Control
Mr. Content Is All That Counts
Miss NCLB Scores
Mrs. Teach to the Middle
Mr. Lack of Preparation
Miss I Don’t Have Time for Questions
Mrs. Because I Said So
Mr. I’m Totally Overwhelmed
It is wishful thinking to believe that technology, by itself, will change the fundamental dynamic that theses teachers bring to their classrooms. We are deluding ourselves if we think traditional professional development will significantly change their beliefs, values, and classroom behaviors.
I dream of teaching and learning that empowers students, fires their curiosity, and encourages them to use their individual gifts. I dream of environments where learners work cooperatively; anytime, anyplace; on projects that are relevant; with like-minded students around the world. There is more, this is just the beginning…my dream knows few limits.
We can bring about significant change. It starts with developing the leadership skills of our classroom professionals. We can do this by adopting a new approach to leadership, one that does not focus on tips, techniques, and insights; but is grounded in cohorts of teachers engaging in personal reflection, self-awareness, individual practice and peer support. Doing this will enable them to embody new classroom behaviors and to embrace the full potential of our new technologies. It is the path to a ‘Golden Age’ of teaching and learning.