Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Is It Okay To Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?

Update 12-9-07: I'd like to thank the Academy . . . this post won for most influential post of 2007. I'm not sure I agree (no, I didn't vote for myself), but I guess the voters have spoken. I think this really is a case where it's more of an honor to be nominated (because several somebodies noticed and nominated the post in the first place) than to actually win. I don't mean to sound ungrateful, I know the Edublog Awards folks put in a lot of time and effort, but I guess what I like the best about the awards is all the new (to me) blogs I get to go explore.

If you're visiting this post for the first time, please read the comments as well - that's where most (all?) of the good stuff is.


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Update 11-26-07: This post has been nominated for "Most Influential Post" in the 2007 Edublog Awards. Thanks to the folks that nominated it, whoever you are. For my thoughts on the nomination, read this post.


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Warning: Grumpy blogger alert. Do not read the rest of this (especially if you’re on my staff) unless you’re in the mood to be provoked.

One of the things I love about the edublogosphere is that when I really annoy my staff with something (which is pretty much daily, if not hourly), I can rest assured that there’s an education blogger out there that’s written something recently that will probably annoy them more. I ran across this post today by Terry Freedman over on the Tech Learning blog where he talks about whether it’s acceptable for teachers to be technologically illiterate and lays out a set of proposed “standards” for teachers.




Before I give my list, I should like to say this. The first step in establishing a standard is to state what that standard is, and/or what it is not. Just because you may not know how to go about achieving it is certainly no reason not to state it. For example, in my classes I always had expectations in terms of acceptable behaviour. It would sometimes take me three months to achieve them, despite teaching them every single day, but that's besides the point.

Here is my list:

1. All educators must achieve a basic level of technological capability.

2. People who do not meet the criterion of #1 should be embarrassed, not proud, to say so in public.

3. We should finally drop the myth of digital natives and digital immigrants. Back in July 2006 I said in my blog, in the context of issuing guidance to parents about e-safety:

"I'm sorry, but I don't go for all this digital natives and immigrants stuff when it comes to this: I don't know anything about the internal combustion engine, but I know it's pretty dangerous to wander about on the road, so I've learnt to handle myself safely when I need to get from one side of the road to the other."

The phrase may have been useful to start with, but it's been over-used for a long time now. In any case, after immigrants have been in a country for a while, they become natives. We've had personal computers for 30 years, and I was using computers in my teaching back in 1975. How long does it take for someone to wake up to the fact that technology is part of life, not an add-on?

4. Headteachers and Principals who have staff who are technologically-illiterate should be held to account.

5. School inspectors who are technologically illiterate should be encouraged to find alternative employment.

6. Schools, Universities and Teacher training courses who turn out students who are technologically illiterate should have their right to a licence and/or funding questioned.

7. We should stop being so nice. After all, we've got our qualifications and jobs, and we don't have the moral right to sit placidly on the sidelines whilst some educators are potentially jeopardising the chances of our youngsters.

I had to smile because it reminded me of something I wrote in February of 2006 – wrote, but decided not to post on the blog. At the time, I felt like it wasn’t the right time for my building to post it, and that it would be counterproductive. But, after reading Terry’s post today, I think it might be time to let it see the light of day. Here’s what I wrote on February 10, 2006 (it was part of a longer post, but this is the part I edited out):




Some of the tech questions I answer from staff members are really rather depressing. But it's the bigger picture I'm more concerned with. I think there's a general feeling among teachers (not all teachers, but many) that it's okay to be technologically illiterate. It reminds me of when I was a math teacher. In about 80% of the parent conferences I had with students who were struggling, at least one of the parents would say "I was never any good at math either." While I don't doubt the truth of the statement, it was the fact that they said it and almost seemed proud of it that bothered me (and of course the message it sent to their student). I can't imagine a parent saying "Oh, yeah, I never learned how to read" and being proud of it. It seemed like there was a different standard for math - not knowing math was socially acceptable, not knowing how to read was very unacceptable.

I sort of get the same feeling today about technology. It's acceptable to say "I don't really get computers" - and many people appear to be rather proud of their technological ignorance. And let me be clear, I'm not saying that technology is the end all and be all of education. As I think I've always tried to say, it's just a tool to help us teach and learn and grow - but an indispensable tool. Technology is the underpinning of just about everything we do today - and especially so in relation to how we communicate with each other. And isn't communication one of the essential ideas that runs through all of our disciplines? The fact that a large percentage of our staff is not only fairly comfortable in their ignorance, but apparently unwilling to make any effort to learn new things (I'm not just talking about Infinite Campus, I'm talking instructionally - and even personally), is really worrisome to me. So let me make a rather extreme statement for you to comment on.

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.

Extreme? Maybe. Your thoughts?

Keep in mind that was written after a particularly frustrating day. I’ve gone back and forth on this issue myself. At times completely agreeing with Terry (and myself above), and at other times stepping back and saying that there’s so much on teacher’s plates that it’s unrealistic to expect them to take this on as quickly as I’d like them to. But then I think of our students, and the fact that they don't much care how much is on our plates. As I've said before, this is the only four years these students will have at our high school - they can't wait for us to figure it out.

The more I think about it, the more I think it’s analogous to the 20th century. In the early 20th century, people who couldn’t read or write could be pretty successful. By the middle of the 20th century, that was still true, but it was getting harder to be successful (and certainly those that could read and write had much more opportunities available to them). By the end of the 20th century, there was very little chance of being successful if you couldn’t read or write. (Note that I’m defining “successful” both in economic/employment terms, and in terms of citizenship/personal fulfillment.)

Now at the dawn of the 21st century, I think the same can be said of technological literacy. And – since we’re living in exponential times – I think the timeline compared to the 20th century is very much compressed. In the late 1990’s (I know, still 20th century, but go with it), you could be successful if you were technology illiterate. In the first few years of the 21st century, you can still be successful if you’re technologically illiterate, but it’s getting harder (and those that are literate have many more opportunities available to them). And by the end of the next decade, I think there will be very little chance of success for those that are technology illiterate. (Don’t forget, those Kindergartners that started school in the last month or so are the Class of 2020 – we need that 2020 Vision.)

I go back to my rant from our first staff development session of the year, where I talked about developing personal learning networks (for both ourselves and our students). One of the things I said was basically:




In order to teach it, we have to do it. How can we teach this to kids, how can we model it, if we aren’t literate ourselves? You need to experience this, you need to explore right along with your students. You need to experience the tools they’ll be using in the 21st century, developing your own networks in parallel with your students. You need to demonstrate continual learning, lifelong learning – for your students, or you will continue to teach your students how to be successful in an age that no longer exists.

Or something like that.

So, let me repeat the last part of what I wrote back in February of 2006:




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.

Extreme? Maybe. Your thoughts?

568 comments:

  1. Karl,

    I've observed several related phenomena which may be taken into account when addressing the issue of technological competence.

    Reluctant users often know exactly what to do in a computing situation, but either fail to retrieve that understanding, or don't even bother - acting on the assumption that they aren't "good" at this stuff.

    Related to this is resistance to learning based upon the assumption that it's "beyond" them.

    The second phenomenon is age-induced-timidity. It's more likely that this factor truly explains differing facility between generations.

    Observe a child "learning" how to work a game, video game device, computer, computer program, and you'll catch the key to success.

    Fearlessness.

    They couldn't care less about "breaking" something. Rebooting is just a button press away. They poke and prod and peek everything on the screen, and when they do this, something wondrous happens.

    Discovery

    What develops from this "natural" approach to learning an unfamiliar concept or area of knowledge is two things of great power.

    Authentic learning.

    Comfort and peace of mind.

    Reluctant age-inflicted tech/comp users suffer from imposed learning and residual discomfort, never achieving that "natural" piece of mind required to be fully productive.

    Frank

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  2. Karl, I agree with you, even tho I can see both sides too (busy teacher etc). But the way I look at it is that we don't have the moral right to not give the younger generation our best shot. Or at least, if there are compelling reasons not to (too busy, too many government initiatives etc), AT LEAST LET's not tolerate people being proud of their illiteracy.

    Thx for defending me as it were against Deb Holt. I'll respond myself later this evening!

    Incidentally, in case u r interested, I'm conducting a survey of web 2 projects being run by teachers, on my website, and hjope to share the results with the community.

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  3. Can we stop for a moment and define technologically literate? Is the teacher that uses power point in the classroom technologically literate? Is the teacher who merely uses the web as "another resource" technologically literate? Or are we looking for educators who are really encouraging kids to jump into the read/write web and create, connect, discuss and explore. Are we just talking about the teachers who are showing students how to make the web work for them by using tools like google reader to organize research. Are we just talking about teachers who encourage kids to blog and create social networks using tools like wikispaces.

    I agree with your post wholeheartedly, but I fear that too many educators think that using power point to deliver instruction everyday is enough to pass as literate.

    Thanks for the discussion starter!

    Brad

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  4. Karl,
    I think I would say it is not okay to be unwilling to learn... I recently blogged my own list of what I think are the basics for teachers. And if you haven't read Greg Farr's most recent post on Leaderstalk it is well worth a look. Make sure you click through to his brochure. the post is about ( in part) making explicit our expectations.
    I am posting tomorrow on Leadertalk and I think all of this is going to figure into my post..My ideas are not solidified yet...

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  5. I think that this is an excellent question. I have been confounded many times before when someone has professed their technological ignorance and flaunted it like a badge of tradition and steadfastness.

    I think that b.davis brings up a very good point about where we draw the line between literacy. But I think that illiteracy, whatever it may be, can be easily overcome if the person has a willingness to learn.

    As a student, it troubles me when a teacher is technologically illiterate (at times it is obvious whether someone is or isn't) because I also believe technology is an essential educational tool.

    Sometimes it is hard to tell how a teacher's lack of technological ability impacts their teaching, but it is all a big "what if?" What things could we have done if the teacher had used technology? What things could I have done if the teacher had accepted it?

    For the most part though, I forgive those people. But I am always baffled by those who take pride in their inability. Not only am I disturbed by their seeming disdain for technology and those who use it, but at times I encounter people who seem to view themselves as morally superior for it.

    In my opinion, there is nothing admirable about ignoring change, and doing so can be dangerous in society at large as well as in education. Perhaps especially in education.

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  6. Karl –

    I think your handy analogy is a little too pat. Thirty years ago it would have been impossible to teach students about literature and writing without being able to read or write myself. But today, I can still teach those subjects without knowing about blogs or Skype or wikis or YouTube. Pen-and-paper assignments and group discussion can still get the job done. Writing is writing whether it’s on paper or on a screen. However, I agree with the spirit of your assertion. If the “language arts” are all about communication, we aren’t really teaching students to communicate if we ignore the connected electronic world of today. If we redefine reading and writing as fully communal, interactive acts, as current wisdom seems to dictate, then teachers certainly need to be technologically literate.

    By the way, English teachers receive comments similar to the ones you’ve heard from math-phobic parents. I’ve had people – adults and kids – flatly state “I don’t read,” in the same way they might state, “I don’t smoke.”

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  7. As an integrator that deals with this issue daily like yourself, and the best solution that has worked for me is to leverage the use of my students as teachers.

    When a teacher comes to me with a tech question they should know or one who is willing to learn but needs tech support, I send one of my 'Tech Sherpas' to help them. A student to help guide them from Immigrant to Native. (I know Terry doesn't like the Immigrant and Native tags, but they seem to apply here.)

    I have 5th-12th grade students that are the first line of tech support. They help manage class websites, troubleshoot problems and are more readily available for staff. The most Luddite teachers I have worked with, now have active websites. Not that the teacher is learning all the tech as they probably should be, but I'm less concerned about that than providing my students this opportunity for this authentic teaching/learning experience. What a role reversal. A model of how the teacher is no longer the fountain of all knowledge, but someone to work with toward a mutual goal.

    The students also are getting the experience of teaching someone else which is always the best way to learn something. So far it's been a win-win, the teachers have help more readily than I could ever provide, and students are a crucial part of the educational process here.

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  8. When I get into a similar funk and start my rant I will often say, "For those teachers who refuse to learn even the basics of a computer and who are proud of it, I say it borders on malpractice!"

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  9. Terry – admittedly the analogy is too simplistic. But let me say something even more provoking. I fundamentally disagree with the example you gave.

    Here’s one of my goals for AHS. My goal is that in the very near future, if any AHS teacher is asked what they teach, they do not answer,

    “I teach Math.”
    “I teach Social Studies.”
    “I teach English.”

    My hope is that every single teacher at AHS would automatically say,

    “Students. I teach students.”

    I think it’s the same problem I saw with our sample mission statements for AHS. They included things like “extracurricular activities” and “safe and orderly environment.” To me, that shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what a mission statement is. We do not exist to offer extracurricular activities or a safe and orderly environment. Those may be values or goals we have, but that’s not our fundamental purpose. They are simply means to an end. The mission statement is supposed to be what we are about, who we are, why we exist as an organization.

    You see, I don’t think it’s your job to teach literature, that not why you “exist” as a teacher. Literature is just a means to an end. We don’t teach Macbeth in order for kids to understand Macbeth, we use Macbeth so that kids can understand good and evil and trust and betrayal. Our goal is not for kids to be experts on Macbeth and know who Malcolm is, our goal is to explore some of the universal themes of humankind and help make those themes meaningful and relevant to our students’ lives. To help our students better understand those big ideas so that they can apply them to their own lives and to the lives of those around them. And it doesn’t matter whether we use Macbeth, or some other piece of literature, or no literature at all.

    So I fundamentally disagree because I don’t think you should be teaching a “subject.” You shouldn’t be teaching “literature” or “grammar” or even “writing” per se, you should be teaching students. And it’s not about “assignments” or “getting the job done,” is it? If your goal is to teach literature, then you’ll undoubtedly be successful. In fact, you’re successful right now. But the problem is, it’s not about what you teach, it’s about what students learn. And what students need. If one of our goals is for students to learn and understand how to communicate effectively in the 21st century – Language Arts in all its many forms – then there is no possible way to do that without technology. So, I have to disagree with your statement. Today, I don’t think you can teach – or more importantly I don’t think our students can learn - without it.

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  10. Karl, I've commented on my blog about this. I think it is a very thought provoking idea. I agree that technology literacy is essential to all members of our society, and I agree that teachers need to take it upon themselves to learn and change. However, we need to create an environment in which learning and changing is looked upon positively. Often we tell our teachers in subtle ways that change is not encouraged. We do this by valuing test scores that don't assess students' use of technology, by tying school goals to areas that do not use technology, and by economically prioritizing other things. I'm not excusing teachers, but others must change as well.

    http://www.wayzata.k12.mn.us/elem_tech_integration/

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  11. Getting teachers to adopt technology is about how you sell it. In our college we have a policy of ownership. Teachers have complete control of their laptops and we support any issues they have regardless of whether they seem related to school. If a math teacher gets comfortable with his computer through organising and editing his photograph collection, he is more likely to adopt work related computer skills.
    Although we shouldn't have to, it is more productive to see technology illiterate teachers as students rather than employees.

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  12. Karl –

    As I said, and you acknowledged, it’s just the particular analogy I disagree with. Elsewise, I think we agree. I said:

    If the “language arts” are all about communication, we aren’t really teaching students to communicate if we ignore the connected electronic world of today.

    And you said:

    If one of our goals is for students to learn and understand how to communicate effectively in the 21st century – Language Arts in all its many forms – then there is no possible way to do that without technology.

    (Hey, I just used technology – “cut and paste” I think it’s called.)

    And “language arts” above is in quotation marks because I didn’t mean it in this case as a discipline necessarily, but rather as something we do.

    I do think it’s at least part of my job to teach literature. To me, there’s a difference between literature and communication. Literature is something you can read over and over and find something new every time. Literature is something that touches you on a level beyond logic or mere communication. Literature is saying something in a way that it’s never been said before. Without literature we lose a part of our human identity and culture. Precisely because we can communicate so much faster and so much more with technology, teaching literature is more important than ever. You can read blogs and rss feeds all day and never read any literature. (Of course, people have always been able to avoid literature, but now we have more opportunities to avoid it.) I disagree with the idea that we can teach kids about the universal themes of humankind without literature. Literature is the quality stuff – and I don’t mean just classical literature here, I’m not saying we have to use Macbeth or “The Waste Land” or (heaven forbid) The Scarlet Letter as exemplars – the quality stuff, I say, that by its excellence jolts or cajoles or lures us into thinking about those universal themes. Can you read literature on a blog? Sure. On a MySpace page? Probably. In an email? Possibly. In a text message? Well….

    One of the 21st century’s challenges is sorting through the overwhelming ocean of information and choosing what’s useful; a subset of that is sorting through writing and recognizing quality stuff (if it quacks like a sonnet...). All teachers should be concerned with teaching evaluative thinking – it’s one of the higher-order thinking skills. It just happens that some teachers are interested and well-versed (no pun intended – or is anything unintended…?) in literature, just as others are tuned into visual art or physical movement or math (take note, by the way, of the math term earlier in this paragraph). I still think it’s OK to be something of a specialist.

    But, darn it, in case you didn’t notice, I’ve typed myself into a corner, because if I acknowledge that literature can exist in cyberspace, then I have to acknowledge that teachers – particularly those who see it as their responsibility to provide their students with the possibility of encountering literature – must live there. Actually, I acknowledged that all along, but it’s a pretty daunting idea. I cling to the notion of literature being important because it’s always been important to me, and I still tend to think of literature as a book I can hold in my hand. To open myself to the vast infostorm of cyberspace is to be King Lear on the heath, cursing the wind and lightning and “hurricanoes,” wishing I were back in the hut with the Fool. But I know what comes next: I have to cast off my clothes and cry out, “I have taken too little care of this.”

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  13. Kern's comment is really important. Having students involved in a major role is more than just a nice thing to do in your spare time. There is good research showing that putting students in these roles contributes to the increase in technology use school-wide.

    We keep hoping that teachers will one day wake up and bring technology into their classroom. Or we take them out of their classroom, show them cool stuff and hope that they "get it". Then they go back to their classroom alone and try to change things by themselves. It won't happen this way.

    By working with students to create a community of practice surrounding the teacher in their own classroom, you help them accept it without making it their fault if it doesn't work. It's up to the whole community, staff, teachers, and most importantly, students.

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  14. Everyone, but particularly Kern and Sylvia, I agree that getting students more involved is key. I’ve found that hard to do formally in my school, our schedule – and perhaps culture - tends to get in the way. But I have said many times to my teachers that they shouldn’t be afraid of using technology they aren’t completely comfortable with, that’s it’s okay to struggle and make “mistakes” in front of the students, and to ask for help. And we’ve had many teachers take that risk, to use blogs or wikis or whatever (and non-technology things as well) and say to the students, “Here’s what we want to accomplish. Here are some technology tools that might be really useful – or might not. Figure out how best to utilize them – or not – to accomplish the goal,” and then turn them loose.

    It’s just really hard for teachers to give up that control, I think both by nature and because of the pressures of the current educational environment. We’re in an age where every minute counts not because every moment is precious, but because it might mean the difference between partially proficient and proficient on the CSAP. So far my school has not completely succumbed to the pressure, but I worry. I worry that soon we’ll be like other schools, where we identify “bubble” kids and make special efforts to move them to the next level. (For those of you unfamiliar with the term, “bubble” kids are those that are close to the next level on whatever test you are using to measure them – or more accurately measure the school – with.) Don’t get me wrong, I want to help those kids too, but I don’t want to focus my efforts on raising a few kids scores by 5 points so they pass the next cut score and consider ourselves successful, yet if we move hundreds of kids 50 points – but it’s from the bottom of the level to the top of the same level – we’re considered a failure.

    So, I need to do some more thinking about how to overcome the obstacles (or at least the things I perceive as obstacles) in my building to more formally help include the students in a “community of practice” as Sylvia so nicely phrases it.

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  15. Terry – first, I didn’t mean to suggest that literature has no value. It certainly does, and I’m not advocating we ignore it or stop using it in a variety of meaningful ways, but I would still argue that it’s not what we’re here for. It is certainly one way to explore those universal themes, and a really good way, but does that preclude the possibility that at some point it will not be the best way? And, just because it’s the best way for you, because it resonates and touches you, does that mean it’s the best way for your students? So, again, I would ask the question, what do we as an organization exist for? Is it to teach literature? My answer would be no.

    Of course, much like other comments talked about the need to define what technologically literate is, perhaps we need to better define what literature is. You talk about literature typically being a book (and I imagine most folks, including myself, think of literature this way). But, as we’ve talked about before, the book is simply an earlier piece of technology, one that was incredibly disruptive – and hated – in that earlier time.

    So, did literature exist before the printing press was widely adopted? There are certainly some pieces of literature that we have our students read that pre-date that time (The Odyssey comes to mind). Didn’t many pieces of literature like The Odyssey come from an oral tradition? What about Shakespeare? Definitely post-printing press, but certainly there weren’t a lot of Barnes and Noble’s (or Amazon’s) around at the time, and therefore not a lot of people reading his work. His literature was mainly conveyed through live performance, was it not? Or, given your interests, what about 2001: A Space Odyssey? Wasn’t that pretty much simultaneously developed as a book and a movie, with the movie being far more successful in conveying the themes to a large audience in the long run?

    As far as whether literature can exist in a text message, that makes me think of a story I heard attributed to Hemingway. In response to a contest to write a story in exactly six words he wrote, “For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never used.” Perhaps there’s an idea for an assignment utilizing texting for you . . .

    So, I think there are some questions to think about there. And in no way do I mean to suggest that I have all the answers to those questions. But if Homer, or Shakespeare, or Arthur C. Clarke/Stanley Kubrick, or Hemingway were just getting started today, what medium would they choose?

    BTW, thanks for the image of you in the role of King Lear casting off your clothes – sleep will be a long time coming now. But, “there is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep,” so I guess I’ll post this now.

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  16. I don't know. I agree with the immigrant/native dichotomy, I think. I just don't believe that being an immigrant precludes becoming familiar with the language or culture (ex: the Gubernator!)

    I see the big difference between immigrants and natives as comfort with playing. One teacher was trying to learn to use tables in Word, and "had to play with it for ten minutes before figuring out what to do." This was AFTER asking a few other teachers who had the same planning period, and they didn't know.

    OTOH, I actually prefer to mess around to see how things work. Only AFTER I've been unable to come up with a solution on my own do I go ask for help.

    Then again, maybe that's just a difference in personality.

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  17. Like several others commenting on the Fischbowl I would be interested to see – or rather, help form (“to answer is to author” – Zolli) -- a definition of technological literacy. While it might have looked like I initially disagreed with the central point that teachers have a responsibility to be technologically literate, I was really just sniping at the edges of the idea. There is no doubt in my mind that, were I not conversant with contemporary technological tools, I would be doing my students a disservice. In fact, as technologically savvy as students are today, I think some of us (in educational parlance) have gone from being the “sage on the stage” to “the guide on the side” to “the hack in the back.” We can’t afford to be near the back of the herd. The cheetahs will get us.

    As to the importance or even the definition of literature, I did a little reading on the Internet to help me codify my thoughts. I actually liked Visuwords’s succinct definition the best: “creative writing of recognized artistic value.” (Perhaps equally interesting were some of the “topic domain” connections, which included “tempest,” “carven,” “filmable,” and “longueur” {“a period of dullness or boredom”}.)

    Most of the sources I consulted implied that literature has to do with the written word, though Wikipedia in particular pointed out that through history the definition has been stretched to include even sculptures, and mentioned digital media as another form. Most definitions also suggested that there’s something special about literature that distinguishes it from other forms of writing. The phrase “recognized artistic value” implies that a creative piece has to exist for at least a little while before it can be “recognized.” There’s always a bit of a time lag before something can be deemed “literature”; a piece has to be around long enough for people to talk/write about it until the court of public opinion can come to a consensus. At least, that’s been the case so far; now, with blogs and Face Book and email, the court is always in session, and judgment can come much faster. At any rate, each new generation has the chance to judge “artistic value” based on its own standards, so our students will define “literature” for themselves. Perhaps it will be a blend of print, HDTV, MySpace, YouTube, and podcasts. Literature is all about telling stories, which seems to be an innate human interest, one which I hope will persist. If telling those stories is going to take place in a post-literate world, we need to help our students be ready to run with the herd.

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  18. I became a teacher because I love books. I have continued to teach for over 30 years because I love young people. I believe a teacher must have passion for a subject. Karl is passionate about technology. I am passionate about the words and ideas my students and I discover in books.

    Karl, I am eager to read the great writers who are currently appearing on blogs and MySpace. Would you direct me to their URL's? Show me the new text-messaging Dostoyevsky, please.

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  19. Hi Cheryl – it’s about time you joined us. :-)

    Let me note that once again the comments have gone in a slightly different direction than the original post. I would hope that folks would go back and think about the original post as much as they think about the literature discussion we’re having, but I’ll do my best to address that as well.

    I want to clear up one thing, though. I am not passionate about technology. Technology is – literally – just a tool. What I’m passionate about is what technology enables – the learning and the communication and the creativity. It’s the transformative powers of technology that I go all ga-ga about.

    And I would assume the same is true for you about books. It’s not the books themselves (simply an earlier technology, yes?) that you are passionate about, it’s the ideas contained in those books. And that was the point I was trying to make. While I know how much you love books, my hope would be that you love young people more. And that what you want those young people to have is the ideas contained in those books, not so much the physical books themselves. And, again, I am in no way advocating getting rid of books or literature, or that those are bad things to be using. I would continue to use them as long as they are the best method to help children understand those ideas. The point that I’m apparently not making very well is that I still don’t think it’s about the “literature”, it’s about the ideas. And that we shouldn’t be teaching the “literature” per se, but the ideas. We don’t care so much if students can spit back the important characters and plot lines of Macbeth, but rather whether they delve deeply into the meaning and truths contained in the story and relate it to their own lives and experiences. I know some folks will view this as simply semantics (“we shouldn’t teach literature, we should teach students”), but I think it’s more than that.

    As far as directing you to their URL’s, I can’t. That’s something that you – along side of your students – need to search for and discover yourselves. That’s the point – you need to be developing these Personal Learning Networks together - nobody can simply point you to them. They are personal, and personally meaningful, and ever-changing, and it’s going to take persistence and hard work to develop and maintain them. I see that as a huge part of our role as teachers, and I just don’t see too many folks doing any of this with students (or even personally) at this point. So, to tie this back to the original post, that’s why I think teachers need to be literate – 21st century literate – if they are going to successfully help our students become 21st century literate.

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  20. Terry – that’s an interesting idea, that a creative piece has to exist for a while and be recognized as having artistic value before being considered literature. So, if someone read a work by Shakespeare before it was recognized as having artistic value, was that person still reading literature? Or did it only achieve that status – and therefore actually have artistic value – once the court of public opinion deemed it so?

    And, of course, that makes me ask the obvious question, who decides? Who decides what has artistic value and is therefore considered literature? Or is it akin to the famous phrase by Supreme Court Justice Stewart, “I know it when I see it.” On a planet with over six billion people, and – as you said – with the court of public opinion always in session – what constitutes a consensus and who decides when it’s been reached? It certainly can’t be based simply on numbers, or Britney Spears and Professional Wrestling would have to be considered literature. Can the same piece be literature for one person and trash for another? If it’s based on artistic merit, then it’s in the eye of the beholder.

    Then, of course, there’s this whole can of worms. Since I believe that the we’re in a period of transition where in the near future very few pieces of writing will ever be either isolated (because they will link to others) or finished (because it will be so easy – and necessary – to edit them), can something be considered literature for a while, but then stop being literature as it is subsequently modified?

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  21. Karl--Sorry for straying away from the original post a bit, but I'm fascinated by the literature discussion (Of course....). And besides, I think I'm beginning to understand you. (!!!!)

    In the past, teachers could offer students samples of the "best" literature--books that had passed through the hands of editors, publishers, critics, and generations of readers. This sifting process assured us that our students (whom we loved) were receiving good quality. True, some writers weren't appreciated initially--were discovered long after their deaths--but the long and laborious test of time brought the best works to the surface. At colleges, professors sifted through old, forgotten manuscripts and sought "new" authors. (That's how we have come to read and appreciate such previously ignored African American female writers as Zora Neale Hurston, for example.) And true, there were probably some damn good writers who have been completely lost to us, but nonetheless, this crap detecting and eliminating process worked pretty well...

    When I began my teaching career, there was an established canon of great books--and schools drew from that canon when they created their curricula. But now a teacher who teaches students (but not literature) is free. No longer does she need to rely on this sifting process. She googles "love," puts the results on her Personal Learning Network, and--voila! Learning!!!

    Also, Karl (please indulge me for a few more seconds….), I simply must respond to your comment: "It’s not the books themselves (simply an earlier technology, yes?) that you are passionate about, it’s the ideas contained in those books."

    This isn't true at all. It's not just the ideas in the books. It's every single word--every phrase, every image, every nuance, every character, every description. The ideas are often the least interesting aspect of a piece of great literature! Great art is so much more than an idea. (You might just as well say Picasso’s Guernica is about color…)

    I'm reminded of what Vonnegut wrote in the Preface to Jailbird (a book that sits on the shelf next to my computer. I'm opening that book now to find the quote....) It’s a great passage and I love it. I think about it at least once every semester….

    Here it is:
    I received a letter this morning…from a young stranger named John Figler, of Crown Point, Indiana. …John Figler is a law-abiding high-school student. He says in his letter that he has read almost everything of mine and is now prepared to state the single idea that lies at the core of my life’s work so far. The words are his: “Love may fail, but courtesy will prevail.”
    This seems true to me—and complete. So I am now in the abashed condition, five days after my fifty-sixth birthday, of realizing that I needn’t have bothered to write several books. A seven-word telegram would have done the job.
    Seriously.
    But young Figler’s insight reached me too late. I had nearly finished another book—this one.

    Vonnegut, of course, was being ironic. But I think you’re telling me the seven-word text-message would suffice for the students I love.

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  22. I can see, Karl, why you hesitated to post this back in February, but I’m glad that you changed your mind. While I too, feel frustrated by any boasting of ignorance, statements that suggest technologically illiterate teachers should have their licenses suspended are likely to have the ironic side effect of turning hesitant teachers away from 21st century learning.

    I graduated from Teachers College only six years ago, and technology was never mentioned nor utilized, except for Microsoft Word and the copy machine in the library. Even for a 2001 graduate like me, the 21st century is intimidating. I had never made a PowerPoint slide until two years ago, and the two things that kept me in the dark were my own guilty conscience and my fear of being looked down upon for being less than technologically proficient. Now, I use PowerPoints each day in class, but I still face the same wall of intimidation when it comes to using new technological tools, like Google documents and RSS feeds. I’m still willing to try, but it takes a little pushing.

    Luckily, our 21st Century Learning team has made it acceptable for me to take risks (and even to fail) in the name of learning, but if your approach had been the one presented in this post, I would have marched decidedly in the other direction and clung to my books, pens, and looseleaf paper.

    If our goal is to heighten our teachers’ willingness to utilize 21st century learning tools, then we need to focus on inclusive goals instead of exclusive ones. Criticizing teachers for being fearful of technology is analogous to criticizing a teenage student who can’t read and is unwilling to try; an accusatory approach in either situation is likely to end in self doubt, resentment, and ultimately, rejection.

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  23. Cheryl – If you’re beginning to understand me, then you’re the first.

    Perhaps my word choice of “ideas” was not the best, because what I was trying to say is more inclusive than what you indicated. I’m not at all saying that the seven-word text message would suffice if it doesn’t convey the entire idea/message/theme/art/nuance that the full piece does. I seem to recall, however, my English teachers telling me to use all the words necessary to convey the message, but not one more. (Obviously a skill I haven’t mastered.) So, if the seven word telegram did convey the entire idea/message/theme/art/nuance, I certainly wouldn’t have a problem with it.

    As far as your comments on Personal Learning Networks, I’m not sure what to say since you seem to be treating me with as much disdain as Vonnegut did his young fan. Personal Learning Networks have very little to do with Googling “love,” and everything to do with finding personal as well as universal truths (if they even exist), with performing your own sifting process (alongside others) and not relying solely on others to discover the truth and deliver it to you, pre-packaged and with Sparknotes attached. (Not to mention that a key piece of PLN’s is the contribution that each individual makes to help discover and further refine those truths.) While I don’t know completely what that looks like yet, I’m positive that it is much harder work than simply relying on an agreed upon curricula (“Voila! Lesson Plans!”), so let’s not disparage teachers who are trying to figure this out, okay? This doesn’t imply at all that we should toss out the “established canon” of great works, but I would respectfully suggest that the “established canon” is not sufficient in and of itself. Unless all truths have been discovered (in which case why is anyone writing anything anymore?), we need to continue to move forward - searching, thinking and evolving as a species - as we continue to try to learn what exactly it means to be human.

    On another note, I’m not familiar with Zora Neale Hurston. In case anyone else is actually reading these comments, what book of hers would you recommend they start with? And, do our students get the opportunity to read her?

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  24. Kristin – Thanks for joining the conversation (and for not mentioning the word “literature” even once in your comment). Let me note for the record that my post did not suggest suspending licenses of teachers. Since I appear to be destined to play the bad guy in this scene, let me put on my devil’s advocate horns and reply to your points with some provocative statements.

    1. Because your teacher prep program was negligent and incompetent, therefore it’s okay for our students to suffer?

    2. Because learning in the 21st century is intimidating to you, therefore it’s okay to give you several years (decades?) to figure it out, never mind the students that pass through in the meantime?

    3. How much more inclusive can a goal be – all teachers should be technologically literate. Seems inclusive to me.

    4. Criticizing teachers who are professionals and getting paid to meet the needs of their students is not accusatory. And, since I’m regularly berated for suggesting that students should have a voice, that they have something to contribute, and that their feelings matter, equating teachers with students is wholly inappropriate here.

    ----

    Now, taking off the horns, I agree with what you said to a large extent. That certainly was the intent and design of 21c, and matches my personal inclination as well. But that doesn’t change any of the things I said in the post. I really don’t see anything in my post that’s accusatory (at least I don’t see the word “worrisome” as being particularly accusatory). And I don’t see the statement about being technology illiterate being equivalent to not knowing how to read and write as being accusatory either, just descriptive. Now, it very well may be wrong, but that’s not the same thing as accusatory.

    So, I’d ask anyone reading this to go back and focus on the original post one more time and think about the essential question I was trying to pose – is it okay to be a technologically illiterate teacher? Can we meet the needs of our students in the 21st century without being 21st century literate ourselves? (Yes, we need to define that better, but give it a shot anyway.) And, if your answer is no, then what do we do about it?

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  25. Karl--Forgive me for sounding "disparaging." As soon as I clicked the "publish" button, I regretted it. John Knowles (in A Separate Peace) said, "Sarcasm is the protest of people who are weak." Instead of mocking the Personal Learning Network, I should have asked you to explain what it is. Even though I'm a member of the Century 21 Learners, I still don't know what you're talking about, I'm afraid. Does it have anything to do with RSS feeds? If so, I'm intimidated by the whole thing. I guess I'm overwhelmed by the thought that I have to do all that sifting. I used to rely on the curriculum, the canon, etc. All day I've been thinking about how exciting it might be to read Crime and Punishment on line, with links to this and that. But all day I've also been thinking that I don't want to be the person who must wade through all the crap that's out there on the internet. I love my classic pieces of literature too much to waste time searching through MySpace trying to find that text-messaging Dostoyevsky that's writing somewhere in cyberspace. I regretted my obnoxious tone and now retract my sarcastic comment.

    Zora Neale Hurston wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God. I believe some of the American Lit. teachers use that book with their juniors.

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  26. What a great, great post (and follow-up commentary)!

    http://tinyurl.com/2g7bga

    http://tinyurl.com/373kjm

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  27. Maybe the issue is being "instructionally" literate vs. a narrower definition of "technologically" literate. I see teachers everyday who are doing great things with a document camera. They're incorporating student work as exemplars, publishing student work, annotating Dr. Suess books, and working toward creating student e-portfolios. All of these very sound practices are made possible, or at least easier, by the document camera. Would these teachers consider themselves "technologically literate"? I doubt it. Yet I would be very happy to have my kids in their classes.

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  28. Karl—It’s great to be back in the Fischbowl, though it feels a bit like a boiling pot right now (but in a good, stimulating way). Anyway, I should have clarified earlier that my comments were in direct reference to Terry Freedman’s comments, not yours.

    I still hold, however, that Terry Freedman’s comments are borderline threatening, particularly the line, “educators are potentially jeopardising the chances of our youngsters.” The subject: educators. The verb: jeopardizing. The object (and qualifying prepositional phrase): the chances of our youngsters. While this very well might be true (though I’m still waiting for evidence), I have to say that as a teacher who works a 12-14 hour day six days a week, this is offensive to me.

    Let me explain: If we fail to respect what teachers are currently doing for their students, then those teachers will, in turn, disrespect what we are trying to do. Yes, I think that it is our job to meet the needs of our students, and that the 21st century is awaiting them in all its technological grandeur (tone: serious, not sarcastic). To fail to prepare them for this world as best we can is to neglect our job, and yes, we should be criticized for this.

    Teachers can and should take criticism, but we need to acknowledge that there are powerful, amazing teachers out there who don’t use technology. Their students learn to think, speak, read, write, and adapt—all skills that are precursors to technological literacy. While technology might help these teachers become even more effective, it’s not fair to suggest that they’re jeopardizing their students’ futures simply because they don’t use technology. If we want teachers to get on board and quit resisting, then we need to develop our approach thoughtfully, methodically, and most of all, respectfully. Look at what we’re doing well first, then look at how our methods can be improved with technology. I think this would help detract from the militant “us vs. them” attitude that I’ve seen on many blogs.

    I'm not disagreeing with your ideas, Karl; I'm simply trying to troubleshoot the widening gap between 21C and everyone else.

    As for your four comments, they surprised me. I think that we’re not understanding each other, which is unusual. Anyway, I’d like to clarify:
    1. I never suggested that my teacher prep program was negligent nor incompetent, and if it were, it certainly would not be okay for my students to suffer. I brought it up only to emphasize that teacher prep programs are still struggling to incorporate technology into teaching. I don’t offer this as an excuse—just another obstacle that even young teachers have to surmount.
    2. I don’t think that my students were just “passing through” my class until I decided to pick up PowerPoint, or utilize a class blog or the laptops. We had an effective class before all of these tools came into play because that’s all they are—tools. I have always had a constructivist classroom (which, by the way, was introduced to me by Teachers College), and this is what my student always have and still do respond to. And yes, it might take some teachers a few years to feel comfortable with technology. Those teachers who are taking the risk and trying should be encouraged, not made to feel like criminals. Those who aren’t trying…well, I actually don’t know any teachers who aren’t trying, but I could certainly see your frustration with them.
    3. Yes, you’re right. The goal itself is inclusive, but the process as described by Freedman is not.
    4. I thought that teachers were students. Why was my comparison inappropriate?

    By the way, Their Eyes Were Watching God is a fantastic book, and several American Literature classes read it either as a class or in book groups. I have a copy if you’d like to borrow it.

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  29. Sorry--one more thing. I just read Mike's post, and I agree with him wholeheartedly. If we were talking about "instructional literacy" instead of "technological literacy," I think we'd be in much stronger agreement.

    But what fun would that be?

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  30. Cheryl – Part of the reason you’re having trouble with it is I’ve done a poor job explaining it. The other part is that I don’t really know what it is yet myself. I see it, I sort of comprehend it, but I don’t really have a good handle on it yet. And, yes, it is overwhelming, which is one of the reasons I think it’s so important that we try to figure out what it looks like sooner rather than later. Why we need to be developing our PLN’s alongside our students, and exploring what this might look like before it gets even more overwhelming (and it will).

    The basic idea of a Personal Learning Network (at least how I’m envisioning it at 8:54 pm on Monday, September 17, 2007) is simply the age-old concept of networking, but on steroids. I gave a long, impassioned rant about this at our first staff development session, but I have no idea if it made any sense. Let me try to replicate it a little bit here (keeping in mind that I’m making a lot of this up and I’m not an expert on human evolution – biological, cultural, or any other –al – so some of this is probably inaccurate, but hopefully it will help flesh out the idea of PLN’s).

    Throughout history, humans have always developed networks. Home Sapiens has always been a social creature (even before Home Sapiens) – we’re hard wired to be social. When mankind first emerged from the cave our network were those in our tribe. We knew who the best hunters were, who the best gatherers were, who the best nurturers were, and so on. But we were pretty much limited to our tribe. We occasionally would cross paths with other tribes and learn from them, but geography and conflict often got in the way.

    As we progressed, we slowly began expanding our networks through the use of technology. We learned speech, and then to write things down, so that we could remember them better and pass them on to successive generations. But this was only for the chosen few and not very efficient, and the repositories of information weren’t distributed equally across all the tribes. We invented wagons and roads and boats (skipping a few millennia here) and they allowed us access to a larger network, but it was slow and disorganized. And then Gutenberg came along and changed everything (eventually, it took a while). The written word was now available to many more people, but it was still scarce, because the idea of universal literacy was a long ways off. And even if you had literacy, you had to wait for the printed information to get to you, and you had to be lucky enough to get the good information.

    But our culture – and our technology - continued to evolve. As our technology improved – telegraphs and telephones, trains, planes and automobiles (not in that order, but it sounds better) – it shrunk our world even more. Our networks expanded even more, but they were still limited. They were still designed on the notion of scarcity. That information was scarce, that certain experts had the right information and only the folks that had access to those experts could really get at the information. In fact, the experts themselves were a scarce resource and were therefore highly valued – and had gatekeepers that limited access to them. For most folks, you had to wait for their next book, or an article about them to come out in a major publication, or – more recently – a radio or tv special about them – to learn about what they knew. And again, you had to be lucky enough for that information to get to you in a timely fashion.

    But now. Now, of course, you know what’s next. We have the Internet. And suddenly we are no longer living in a world of information scarcity, but one of information abundance. Where access to experts is no longer as scarce as it was. Sure, they still have gatekeepers, but not all of them do. And it’s much easier to learn what they know in almost real time, to not have to wait until the next book. And, perhaps more importantly, the experts themselves aren’t as scarce because we can connect with almost everyone. In an age of scarcity, a limited number of experts were needed to manage, control and disseminate the information. There was only room for a limited number. But in an age of abundance, many more people can be experts – or at least very knowledgeable – about their niche. And we can connect to those “average” folks in a way that was virtually impossible before, we can build our own learning networks.

    We need to know how to access the information wherever it is on our learning network, whether it’s on a server in India or in a human brain in Indiana. To know whether I go to my trusted source down the hall, or to my trusted source that’s on the other side of the planet. It used to be that if I wanted to know about farming in Nigeria, I would consult one of a limited number of experts on farming in Nigeria (and probably the expert was at a university in England or something). Or, more likely, I consulted something they had published, because it was too difficult, or expensive, or time consuming – or I didn’t have the right connections to make contact and get past the gatekeepers. Now, I may still consult some of those experts, but not only is it much easier to contact them, but there are many more experts to contact. And the expert I contact just might be a farmer in Nigeria, not an academic in England. We live in an age of abundance, not scarcity, and that’s a whole new ballgame. And our students need practice with this, with creating a PLN, using their PLN, learning and contributing to others PLNs.

    We can’t master all the content anymore – there’s simply too much of it. Our students need the skills and abilities and habits of mind to live in a world of information abundance. They need to develop that learning network so that they can be continual learners. And teachers need to be, among other things, network administrators. Not in the technical sense, but in the sense of guiding students as they create, use and incorporate learning networks into their learning. In a sense, our goal here in high school is really to make ourselves obsolete, that when they leave here they really don’t need us anymore. That they know how to learn, know how to build, expand, contribute to, and tap their learning network as needed.

    And to teach it, we have to do it ourselves. We need to create our own personal learning networks. We need to experience the tools they’ll be using in the 21st century, developing our own networks in parallel with our students. We need to demonstrate continual learning, lifelong learning – for our students, or we will continue to teach our students how to be successful in an age of scarcity.

    Okay, I could probably keep going on and on, but I’m really tired, and I still don’t know if that makes any sense. But let me close with the reminder that I’m not proposing eliminating literature from this mix. Shakespeare and Dostoyevsky, Hurston and Morrison, Hemingway and Faulkner – they can all be part of someone’s personal learning network. (OK, maybe not Faulkner, I never understood him.) And I believe they will be for a long time to come. But, for me, it’s still all about the learning, and I just don’t see how we’re meeting the needs of our students if we ignore the new pieces of their Personal Learning Networks that I think are going to be critical for their success – personally and professionally – in the 21st century.

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  31. Oh Karl, you sly fox, you! You knew I’d jump into the fray as soon as you mentioned Shakespeare—and I will respond to your comments about “not teaching literature per se, but the ideas” in just a moment.

    But first, I want to respond to your statement that a technologically illiterate teacher unwilling to make the effort to learn more is equivalent to a teacher 30 years ago who didn’t know how to read and write. The equation doesn’t work for me. You’ve said repeatedly that technology is simply a tool, not an essential skill. I don’t need to learn technology to read and write, but I need basic reading and communication skills to use and understand technology. If I thought that my expertise with technology defined my success as a teacher, I would file my retirement papers right now. And I don’t consider myself technologically illiterate. I have been trying extremely hard the past five years to learn new technology and incorporate it into my classes as one tool for teaching reading and writing. But using technology is time-consuming and difficult for me because I’m a very right-brained learner who has trouble remembering sequencing and technical logic. My memory is shot (although my doctor assures me this is typical for a woman my age) and last week I probably spent four hours completing a photo story that a younger teacher could have completed in a half hour. My point is not that teachers shouldn’t make the effort to use technology, but teachers can still be effective using other tools. And don’t worry—the technology will take care of itself. Younger teachers have grown up with it so they will incorporate it into their lessons naturally.

    On the other hand, teachers who don’t make the effort to incorporate basic skills into their curriculum are indeed the equivalent of teachers not knowing how to read and write. Karl, have you ever wondered why so many of the 21st Century cohort members don’t blog on a regular basis? I know you’re frustrated by this lack of participation. Several people have told me they are intimidated by the bloggers who write so eloquently and passionately. Notice they are not intimidated by the technology, but by the basic skill of writing. If teachers feel this way, how do you think our students feel? As an English teacher, which should I emphasize more: writing or technology? When I meet people in the “real” world (whatever that is) and they discover I’m an English teacher, they never ask me what technology I teach. They want to know what books my classes are reading. They want to know why so many of their new employees can’t write well or speak articulately. One of my doctors even asked me recently why prospective employees he interviews can’t look him in the eye while speaking. “Is it because they’re so used to text-messaging?” he asked.

    Karl, another provocative statement you made (you’re very good at those, by the way) concerned who and what teachers teach. You would rather have me say, “I teach students,” instead of “I teach English.” Karl, why must the two statements be mutually exclusive? At Back-to-School Night I tell parents my two main goals for the year are to teach students effective communication skills and to share with students my passion for literature. Notice students come first in meeting both of my goals, but what I teach fuels my desire and ability to ignite the intellectual curiosity necessary in education. I have known plenty of teachers who love kids but are not successful in the classroom because they don’t feel a passion toward the subject they teach.

    Finally, you made the statement, “I still don’t think it’s about the “literature”, it’s about the ideas. . . we shouldn’t be teaching the “literature” per se, but the ideas. We don’t care so much if students can spit back the important characters and plot lines of Macbeth, but rather whether they delve deeply into the meaning and truths contained in the story and relate it to their own lives and experiences.”

    Karl, literature is not just about the ideas—it’s about the delivery of ideas. I know this comment doesn’t respond directly to your original post—but I can’t help myself. If students read Shakespeare simply to relate to his universal truths and characters, why is he the most quoted author in English Literature? Why do we search for his specific words when trying to capture or understand our feelings? Why did Terry quote directly from King Lear when making one of his points? All humor aside, why was the image of Terry “casting off his clothes,” so memorable for you when he simply could have described casting off old ways of thinking?

    Think of the most inspirational speeches you have ever heard. Are those speeches famous simply for their ideas or also for the delivery of those ideas? “I have a dream…” “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” “Once more into the breach, dear friends!”

    When I teach Shakespeare, I tell students he will give them words (not text messages—not ideas) for feelings they didn’t even know they had until they read those words. During his day Shakespearean audiences heard the words rather than read them, but the point is that the words are an “echo to the sense” (Alexander Pope) of our feelings. Words delivered with passion, style, and eloquence intensify our feelings, motivate us to act, and illuminate our imaginations. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword, and technology sometimes obscures the power of words. Speed and efficiency replace voice and authenticity.

    If I were given only one more week to teach, do you know how I would spend it? Not in the computer lab, not online, not in my classroom preparing students for PSAT exams. I would twirl in the middle of the outdoor classroom where “all the world’s a stage,” and tell my students to “Beware, beware” my “flashing eyes and floating hair” for I have “traveled through realms of gold” and on “honeydew hath fed and drunk the milk of paradise!”

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  32. Kristin – I apologize. That previous comment to you did not come out the way I intended. (After suggesting to Cheryl that she was showing disdain, I turn right around and show it myself. Bad, very bad.) The four points were a black and white response to a nuanced and complex area. They were intended to illustrate what critics outside of public education would say – as well as what many critics inside of public education would say as well. I do believe there is truth in all four of them, so I’m not completely distancing myself from them, but I should’ve made it clearer what I was trying to illustrate.

    Let me attempt to address the valid points I do see in them, and your additional comment.

    1. I think your teacher prep program was negligent if in 2001 all they talked about was Word and copy machines. That doesn’t mean they weren’t excellent at other things, or that many fine teachers didn’t come out of the program, but we’ve got to find a way to move beyond Word and copy machines. If teacher prep programs, who have the luxury of focusing on all things educational with students who (usually) do not have all the responsibilities of full time teachers, can’t figure out how to explore these issues, then I’m not sure how we’re ever going to meet the needs of our kids in the 21st century.

    2. I never meant to imply that the students passing through your classroom were just “passing through” your classroom - I’ve seen you teach. As I think I’ve tried to say over and over again, it’s not about the technology, it’s about the learning. But I would still suggest that the students we have right now need us to figure this out as quickly as possible, or I do think we will “jeopardize” their chances.

    As far as teachers not trying, well – I guess I see different things.

    3. Nothing really to add here.

    4. I agree that teachers are students. I also think that teachers have a higher level of responsibility at this point in their lives than students do. As far as the inappropriate bit, that was just my frustration at constantly being criticized for advocating for students and what they are capable of – it didn’t really make sense, please strike it from your memory.

    Overall, I think I must not be doing a very good job explaining any of this. Because to me, it’s not about “methods that can be improved with technology” or, teachers that “don’t use technology.” It’s not really about technology at all (and, okay, that means the title of my post is pretty bad). It’s about learning. And that the world is a fundamentally different place than when we were growing up, and our schools – and too many teachers - seem to be focused on perfecting a system that is preparing our students for a world that no longer exists.

    [And even as I read this now before posting it, I’m still not explaining it well. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll do better.]

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  33. Karl--

    Your explanation was excellent--clear, impassioned, specific. I too am very tired, so I'll keep this short. Thank you for giving me much to contemplate, though. (I've got to go grade my papers. I've been ignoring my students terribly lately--thanks to all the blogging I've been selfishly indulging in!)

    I wish only one thing. I wish I had laptops in my classroom. Without them, trying to incorporate technology is very frustrating. Last year you kept assuring Cohort 2, "It's not about the technology." After reading this blog and commentary, however, I'm beginning to have doubts about that....

    You've done so much for our school, Karl. Thanks to you, we have made tremendous steps forward. I'm not complaining about you at all, but I feel left out and disadvantaged because I don't have ready access to the tools my students and I (apparantly) need.

    What can we do to change that?

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  34. Marlys – I’m way too tired to do this justice.

    As far as technology, see my reply to Kristin. My definition of technologically literacy is apparently way, way different than everyone else’s. Technological literacy has very little to do with computers or software (although the y are helpful and necessary). And if folks have a different definition, then undoubtedly the analogy to reading and writing won’t make any sense.

    Technology won’t take care of itself (at least not yet, it’s not sentient yet). And I don’t care much about taking care of technology, and I see very little evidence that the younger teachers are that much more advanced (see Kristin’s comments about her lack of training in her teacher prep classes). Of course teachers can be effective using other tools, I just don’t think they can meet all the needs of our students in the 21st century without it. And I want to meet all their needs.

    I’m still having trouble with this intimidation thing. With all due respect (and I’m trying to not repeat my mistakes from above so please don’t take this too harshly), give me a break. First, I’m blogging right along with folks such as yourself and your colleagues who can write circles around me. Second, they have the option of writing in a Word document and emailing it to me – no one but me sees it – and they still aren’t doing it. Third, they are supposed to be professionals. Teachers. Learners. Role Models. They can go to college, graduate, and be entrusted with the lives of hundreds of teenagers each year, but they can’t figure out a way to write their thoughts down – either publicly or privately? Fourth, it’s what their students need them to do, so therefore I expect them to give it a shot.

    You’re right, the two statements don’t have to be mutually exclusive. But – from my perspective – way too many teachers answer with their subject area and dismiss the students. My hope is that if they truly, honestly, passionately answered students first, then things would be better.

    As far as “ideas,” please see my reply to Cheryl. I thought I qualified my use of “ideas” as a poor word choice, and my definition is more inclusive, but apparently not. And, I love Shakespeare, I really do. But why is he the most quoted author in English Literature? Well, undoubtedly because he has a way with words (please do not let the following take away from that, although I fear you will). But it’s also partially because he was prolific, because he was early, and because every student in an English language classroom in the past 100+ years has had to read him. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but that certainly helps get you quoted a lot. And, English teachers like Terry quoting Shakespeare don’t count! If only I had some math teachers blogging here . . . :-)

    Can technology obscure the power of words? Sure, but it’s not because of the technology, it’s because of how it’s used. I think hearing Shakesepeare read live, listening to recorded actors reading Shakespeare, and watching recorded Shakespeare plays are all fantastic ways to have the ideas/truths/art delivered. But, once again, what does text messaging have to do with that? I’ve never said that text messaging would replace that. And, because I sometimes feel like what I write must be disappearing, would somebody please acknowledge that books are technology?

    So, if you were given one more week to teach, you’d spend it on those things. No problem, I’m with you. But, assuming from your sentence that you might not be, why the heck aren’t you doing it this week?

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  35. As part of this discussion related to Karl's originsl post, we have to acknowledge that education and educators failed to promote teacher competency.

    From the beginning, computers were looked at important for students, not teachers. In fact, many schools set up computer labs for students before they gave computers to any teachers. Yet, in my experience in moving a school ahead -- and I believe my school is exemplary in many ways -- the step that made the biggest difference in changing the teacher culture was giving every teacher a laptop before we introduced laptops for students.

    When teachers finally had a computer they could use at home (and many of my teachers did NOT have home computers or fought to get time on their computers), their mastery of technology skills as well as their creativity for using technology to support learning, exploded.

    Today I continue to see teachers with no access to technology except for a shared computer in a school or watching kids in a lab. Is it fair, then, to ask those teachers to be technology literate?

    Understand that I believe integration is a teacher RESPONSIBILITY. I wonder, though, when educational leaders will take the responsibility to ensure that all teachers have consistent, all day-everywhere access to the tools so that they can become literate. THEN it is fair to expect them to grow more literate every year.

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  36. Thank you for articulating so nicely what many of us have been wrestling with privately for a long time. When you can make the "technology" relevant to a person's life outside of school (ie "I'm sure your grandchildren will love the photos of you in Alaska, let me show you how to send them as an attachment") the risk is easier for them to take. Once they're comfortable using the stuff in their personal life, they seem to be more likely to bring it into the classroom. Especially with the promise of 20 "helpers" in their room. Teachers don't have to be experts in all aspects of integrating different technologies into their curriculum but they do have to be willing to try. At the end of the day, aren't we all "life-long learners"?

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  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  38. An interesting fact I read in my 8 year old son's planner was: "Mark Twain's novel Tom Sawyer was the first novel WRITTEN on a typewriter."

    I have been reading the amazing dialogue that has continued for...2 weeks? on the Fischbowl. We would have had this conversation only once, maybe a couple times catching each other in the hall, but not again as a group. Technology, in this instance has given folks time to digress, stew, think, rethink and question each other. It also has given a forum for this discussion to occur outside of our building adding in many different perspectives.

    The point I thought about when I read the fact about Twain is that if one of our treasured authors risked "penning" such a story using technology, what is the worry with having our students use it today?

    I guess I feel very strongly about teachers that are so willing to admit their inadequacies without a willingness to learn. Teaching reading is not something that many of us in my language arts department learned in our education curriculum, but it is a major component of what we now teach. I simply cannot say that I just don't get it or that I was never taught it, so I am past the learning stage of teaching reading. No, instead, we dig in, we talk, we teach each other, we try things and ultimately, we learn that some things with teaching reading fail and others resonate with our students.

    Technology is the same. It is a part of our world and I do feel as teachers of the 21st Century, we need to learn, teach each other, ask, read, wonder, and just try technology. It is certainly not the end-all, but like Twain, why not use the "latest" technology to pen our thoughts?

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  39. I guess this thread is winding down, but I had to jump in.

    I actually was at TC with Ms. Kakos, who might even remember me. I know that back then the only technology I had on my mind w/r/t teaching was the copier at my student teaching site that didn't work, and the fax machine at the stationer's on Amsterdam Ave that I used to send in paperwork for my certification.

    Then again, that WAS six years ago. But this is now. I wrote a little about this issue on my blog a while ago and, at the risk of being That Guy, am going to quote myself:
    Look. Here’s the deal. Hey you–yeah, you–you teachers: I don’t care if you personally think Facebook is worthwhile, or that blogs are interesting to read. Facebook’s probably a total waste of time, and the vast majority of blogs (this one included) are self-indulgent pap. But this is the world we live in–not just our students. If you don’t go home and spend hours online every evening, it doesn’t matter. Your students do. And who are we serving, anyway? Get with the times or risk doing your students a disservice.
    It's a little strident. I know that. But I'm standing by it. It just doesn't matter much what you think about technology, or whether the next great writer's going to be found on MySpace (doubtful) or something like that. Because that's kind of specious and silly, to be honest.
    Nobody's trying to get rid of the Great Books of Awesome Literature. I think the canon could use a great deal of expansion. I think everyone should read Their Eyes Were Watching God, for just basic starters, let alone a little V.S. Naipaul, James Kelman, Maxine Hong Kingston, etc. But I don't think you're going to find anyone who believes in Web 2.0 technology as a boon to education who wants to replace Anna Karenina with my band's MySpace page. That's an "if you don't give up your civil liberties you might as well join Al-Qaeda"-caliber argument.
    The technology is a tool for our students to use to read, write, explore, communicate, etc. Just like the Wonderful Books of Amazing Insight are tools to help our students read, enhance their vocabulary, grapple with themes, learn something about how master authors use language, etc. The trick is to use both of those tools in the service of our students, based on what they need.
    I'm pretty sure we can all agree on that.

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  40. Thanks for encouraging me to continue to irritate my staff. Sometimes I feel like a stone in their shoe.

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  41. A corollary requirement is instructional design literacy. I see this from my vantage point in higher education. My role is to assist the educators with technology mediated delivery. Too often this takes the form of mediated information dumps made all the more deadly and ineffective by technology. In fact, can we really call something technology that is not a useful tool for solving problems?

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  42. Off the topic of teachers for a moment, if you've ever wondered if computer skills really matter in teachers, they do. This story is from more than 10 years ago, but was horrifying for the student involved. I was in a class with people who were covering off basic computer skills when the teacher asked who hadn't used a computer before. One lone student raised their hand, to be viewed upon by their peers as a freak, an outcast and an oddity. As if that wasn't enough distraction from their education, they soon realised that they were going to be bottom of the class, even working really hard. They had had plenty of teachers before, but none who used computers. This is the kind of experience that some students are going to be having in the future and it will create an underclass if it cannot be stopped.

    YOU teacher, have the power to stop it.

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  43. So many useful comments on a provocative and enlightening post. Thank you all.

    One thing that should be mentioned is the social and economic environment in which all this is taking place. Why are teachers (and administrators, and students, and parents...) so overwhelmed? We're all doing our own work as well as that of those who were laid off, got divorced, were downsized, feel marginalized and excluded. Things HAVE gotten tougher for everyone, and it causes people to get smaller, both in their outlook and their influence.

    I agree that in this day and age, educators need to be capable users, teachers and modelers of technology, but until we solve the huge funding problems, the alienation problems, the economic problems, and the family problems, tech-savvy educators won't have the impact we would want.

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  44. I believe the biggest barrier to teachers' use of technology is not their oft' bemoaned inability or unwillingness.

    I think it is mostly the inability of the leadership to:
    1. Provide solid, reliable, technology with support levels that don't leave teachers hanging for days with a problem.
    2. Show the teachers clearly what they are expected to do with the technology provided.
    3. Have an accountability structure, to make sure they do it.

    I believe it's fundamentally a challenge for leadership. This includes state agencies, superintendents, principals, school boards, politicians, etc. We should stop blaming "reluctant teachers." Where are their supervisors? Step #1 above is not cheap, and most leaders would say we are already spending sufficient funds. We aren't. Also, many school leaders would say the technology works, yet they almost never assess whether it works. Is 90% up time OK? Many public schools don't even have that. Most schools lack support levels that industry takes for granted. There aren't many Bartlebies at L.L. Bean who "prefer not to" use the technology. Industry gets tech done (at a much higher cost than K-12) or fails. We have trouble getting it done, because if we don't, everyone keeps showing up and paying for it. At least for now.

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  45. I join this wonderful discussion from far-away Bangalore, where I grapple with these questions and issues on a daily basis, as an educational technologist and teacher educator working with teachers in urban India.

    I don't believe being even simply digitally "literate" will cut it if a teacher wants to leverage new technologies meaningfully for better learning. Digital literacy is obviously a start, but what teachers need to be is digitally "fluent" with technology to know what tools to use in different learning situations.

    Just as fluency with a language takes one beyond mere literacy and helps one understand the nuances of a language, digital fluency also helps one handle the unexpected when it comes to technology – which, as it turns out, is quite often the case. This does not mean that teachers need to be trained computer professionals. It does mean, however, that teachers should move beyond viewing the computer or any other piece of hardware as a mysterious object that only the very exalted can handle. They should be able to playfully explore a piece of technology (be it a digital camera or a new piece of software) without fear or intimidation. Unless they achieve this comfort level with technology, they will constantly be faced with situations where they have to abort a technology-based lesson due to a problem that they could have handled with some fearless ‘poking around’.

    Mere digital literacy will also keep teachers from moveing beyond naive (or even gimmicky) uses of technology in their classrooms - (powerpoint presentations, superficial use of the Internet for topical research and such). In today’s networked world, digital fluency also means teachers harness the power of technology (the internet in particular) for communications and collaboration through the many, varied, mostly free tools of the new web (blogs, wikis, podcasts, in addition to good ole' email and e-groups).

    A good teacher who is also technologically savvy will know when good old fashioned teaching techniques will work, and when a tech tool will serve the teaching and learning process better. She will always use technology as a means to an end, and not and end in itself. She will appreciate the value that pedagogies like Waldorf bring to a learning environment, but she will also be aware of tools like Scratch that aid problem-solving, creativity and collaboration and sharing.


    Like the comment above says, "it is not necessary to use every new tool out there", and not all the time either. A technologically "fluent" teacher will be able to strike the balance and mix it up and design the learning experiences effectively with appropriate technology tools, or without any technology tool at all, depending on the particular learning situation and need. I doubt that a teacher who is only digitally "literate" will be able to do that. Unfortunately, a large percentage of the teachers who use technology in their classrooms, probably all over the world, fall in the latter category. I believe that that is a big reason why questions are still being raised about whether technology can truly impact learning!

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  46. @nArt and Joe - I agree that there are a myriad of issues to deal with, with leadership being a key one. But, in the meantime, our students don't have time to wait for leadership to step up or for those other issues to get addressed - they need us now. We - as teachers - need to figure out a way to step up and meet the needs of our students - despite all the obstacles.

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  47. It seems that there are different levels of technology literacy. Your anecdotal stories in your original post indicated that those teachers who couldn't manage email or who never put together a PowerPoint could be defined as technologically illiterate. There are a whole number of teachers who are extremely competent with using basic productivity tools but who still remain out of the loop when it comes to web2.0 tools. The key to remaining literate is to engage in constant professional development activities such as reading blogs, using social bookmarking tools, and belonging to a professional social network. I know that there has been a lot of discussion about those teachers "who don't do email", but I'm driven nuts buy teachers who do plenty of email, powerpoints, and word docs, but look at me as if I have two heads when I recommend a blog articles or the use of a social networking tool to collaborate. You're not done learning just because you know how to use a computer.

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  48. @shuchi Agreed.

    @nadine n – I’m not sure what anecdotal stories you’re referring to in the original post. I don’t see anything about email or Powerpoint . . . but I agree with what you’re saying.

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  49. Shuchi,
    I like the phrase "comfort level" you used. I think it's the best working definition for what we are after in staff development for instructional technologies. The are two challenges: 1. How do you make that change for large groups of teachers, and 2. how do you know when you've made it?
    Let's start with #2. I've been responsible for evaluating this effort in various settings for nineteen years (no time to complain, just goals to meet. :) We've used survey data: "Ahem... do you feel comfortable with the technology? Circle 1, not comfortable, 2, somewhat comfortable," etc. (You can see the weakness of that, but it is of some use, because perceptions do matter.) We also used log files (to see who used the technology when for how often, etc.) We've gotten a little better at it in the last few years. One of the pieces we check for today is the quality and variety of student work. We are looking to see the students creating more diverse work in a variety of media, including electronic media. We are also looking for increased variety in types of communication used in the context of learning. For instance, Last week I had an English teacher that worked with some 15 year-olds on a book set in Iran. Our office hooked her up with EPals, and she went through considerable hassle registering her students to exchange emails. She also asked about a live teleconference, which we are trying to put together for her. I would say she had that "comfort level" we are looking for, so I made a note of that. These notes (compiled in a wiki) form a kind of "action research" which tells us we are on the right track. My point is you have to be able to measure the change somehow, if you are being paid to bring it about.

    Now back to # 1. This blog thread has identified the problem, (though it hasn't said what percentage of teachers have these undesirable characteristics) and let's assume we have a way to measure success if we try to address it. Now, what are the best leverage points in the system for bringing about the goal?

    In 1993, the "comfort level" challenge was getting 100% of the teaching staff simply to use the computer: turn it on, create/save a file, etc. I am very proud of the success we had at that time, which we achieved primarily in three ways: 1. install newer, more reliable computers, (one for each teacher) along with a support staff ($) 2. Install an easy-to-use kind of email 3. Get the principals to use it for announcements and daily communication with staff.
    I say this to emphasize the fact that neither 1,2 or 3 above was a "training" or "workshop" or "staff development" piece. Those were held, but they were incidental. I believe we have to work systemically to address the changes we want to bring about.

    For the challenges of today, we need to create a system in which the path of least resistance is to develop that comfort level with the new technologies. How do we make it so the desired behavior is simply an indispensable component of the way school works, rather than "some new thing they are pressuring us to do?" What kind of goal setting would establish this path? Where are the leverage points?

    A Principal or Headmaster's blog, or a school vision wiki?
    A curriculum mapping tool (interactive, with a global lesson pool, comments, ratings, etc.) to replace the teachers' planning books?

    Changing teachers isn't easy. It certainly takes more than workshops, and identifying "bad" or undesirable practice is really beside the point. How are you all evaluating this outcome, and what is working best?

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  50. Joe, let me preface my response by saying that I realize that changing teachers is not easy, and old ways of doing things are entrenched in the teaching practice of most teachers. I confess that I don't have all the answers (none of us do!), especially to the more nitty-gritty questions you raise, but here are some ideas.

    I think you already have some answers in your comment - (1) Identifying that path of least resistance (2) Blogs and wikis all over the place - yes, a school head's blog will go a long way in helping change school culture, and wikis/collaborative googledocs/spreadsheets for all kinds of planning (3) It takes more than workshops - yes, I think the very nature of staff P.D. needs to change.

    Clearly that teacher you describe set out on a path of using technology that is not easy to implement. There are too many dependencies - not just technology but distance as well. Getting something going with a school halfway across the earth is an idea, that has, in my view, too many moving parts, and hence, too many spots where things could go wrong! A live teleconference, too, can trip the most tech savvy teacher sometimes! Contrast these with a class teacher setting up a class blog or wiki with the help of the tech. integration specialist in the school. Blogs and wikis can work just as well to bring together classrooms from around the world.

    Staff Development. I have, over the last couple of years, set up group blogs for the teachers who I have trained - and part of the workshop has always entailed responding to readings and discussion prompts on the group blog. It does not matter what the topic of discussion is or what the workshop is about (i.e. it need not be a workshop on "web 2.0 tools for teaching"- it could be assessments, MI, differentiated instruction - whatever. Get those teachers onto a blog every opportunity you get. Several of them warm up to the idea and get comfortable with the dynamics of setting up a blog, sharing their ideas, commenting on others' - blogging in general.

    I think those surveys you mention are weak indicators, at best. Student work and products of learning - digital artifacts such as podcasts, blogs, wikis, movies, and what have you, are great, not just for assessing student learning but assessing the teacher's "comfort level" with leveraging these new technologies to transform teaching and learning in the classroom.

    With any luck, we'll make every classroom and school a global publishing house!

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  51. I totally agree with your views regarding teachers and technology. In our society, technology is becoming more important each and every year. There are many people in the educational field that are not up to date in this area. I feel that it should be a main responsibility of a teacher to become familiar with new technology. I agree with that fact that there are many teachers that are okay that they are technologically illiterate. I am a college student, and I see examples of this behavior in class almost daily. Many teachers that I have experienced have trouble doing simple things on the computer like presenting a power point or loading a video clip. They usually ask for help from a student and laugh it off by saying that they do not know anything about computers. This really makes me uneasy when thinking about the job that they have. Teachers have the job of educating students that will soon be in charge of running the country. I agree that very soon, there will be very little chance for success for people who are technologically illiterate. Learning these new technologies are becoming more crucial every day. I think that it is important for teachers to start to care more about learning technology. I also think that there should be annual mandatory classes teachers should take to help train them on new technologies. Overall, these skills are going to be crucial for students of the next generation to have. In order for the students to learn these skills, teachers need to educate themselves on these issues first.

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  52. I find all the new technology attractive, but "must restrain self" before fall into another tar pit of time suck. The video clip from the commercial in which Jessica Simpson says, "Ah totally don't know what that is, but ah want it!", really strikes a chord.

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  53. I just skimmed over all the comments, and it left me with a need to share the signature I leave in all my email correspondences:

    "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."
    - Marcel Proust

    - Computers will never replace teachers, but teachers who use computers as an effective tool to improve student achievement will replace those who don't.

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  54. Many of the teachers portrayed so negatively in these posts have summer and evening jobs in the private sector, during which they use technology effectively. Many of them also use consumer technologies (Ebay, etc.) well. I agree there is a problem, but I feel it is being misdiagnosed. The problem lies in the structure and expectations of the job, especially the lack of specificity given to teachers on what exactly to do. It is further compounded by low levels of technical and instructional support. As school leaders, can we honestly say we have set up K-12 schools so that this new kind of practice is an integral part of working in them? Or are we rewarding "safer" practices?

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  55. Kudos to you for putting into print my very thoughts on my co-educators and their fear of technology. The two ideas that stood out the strongest for me where the embarassment people should feel for ignoring technology and how we are no longer immigrants with technology. I'll admit that I have much to learn before my own classroom is 100% technologically integrated; however, I at least am trying. (There is actually an English teacher on our campus who will not allow her students to type their papers.)
    Would you mind if I share your blog with the other members of the Web 2.0 class I am taking?

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  56. Karl,

    I agree with you for the most part. I do feel a large difference between the level of our society's acceptance of being inadequate at math and/or tech. , but not reading. I feel this idea comes from our focus on reading at the lower grade levels. We put such a great importance on how well our youngsters read and reward them for getting better that they focus and work hard on those skills. Why is that?

    One possibility may be the fact the early elementary teachers in the US are good at reading and teaching it. Or they do not feel as good about math.

    I feel we need to bring about a change to our society and have all teachers be given guidance and help to make sure that they help kids learn to love math and technology in the say way they have them learn to love reading.

    By putting math and technology on the same level as reading I feel we can begin to change our kids for the better. Making those who are good at reading as well as those who are good at math and tech. feel proud of their accomplishments, but also feeling motivated to work on their needs in the other areas.

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  57. My name is Dana, and I am in Dr. John Strange's EDM 310 summer 2009 class. I am not yet a teacher, but your blog sends me a clear message. I want to be a teacher who knows how to utilize the available tools for the benefit of the students. Thank you for sharing your expertise and your wisdom. You may contact me at reevesdedm310summer09.blogspot.com.

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  58. Hi Mr. Fisch. My name is Megan and I am part of Dr. Strange's EDM class. What you are saying in the post is quite controversal, but it is true. I believe not knowing how to read or write now is a lot like what it will be like in 10 to 15 years from now if you do not know how to use a computer.

    I, myself, am lucky enough to have grown up in the generation that grew up with computers. I do look around, though, and see so many people older than me by just a few years who struggle with simple tasks on the internet and I wonder how are they in college right now. I guess it is already beginning to happen. It is already getting very difficult for the people who really have no clue about technology. Thank you Mr. Fisch for your post. If you wish to contact me my twitter name is Bamamcb07 and my blog website is http://brownmedm310summer09.blogspot.com/.

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  59. Hello Mr. Fisch,

    My name is Belinda and I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM310 course for the Fall of 2009. I enjoyed your very strong opinnions about technolgy in the classrooms and in college courses. I feel the saemas you. As a student in college courses I have tthree history courses that use little to no technolgy what so ever. Perhaps they feel that it is not needed to accomlish their goals. I feel differently wish that it apeared more often in these courses.

    Thank you

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  60. I have read your post, and I have some concerns.

    It is not a requirement for teachers to be technologically literate. How are you going to go about making this happen? How do you know that the way that those teachers are teaching isn't accurate?

    Thank You,

    Tresher

    URL http://moorertedm310fall2009.blogspot.com/

    EDM 310

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  61. I read your blog as an assignment for my Education in the Media class with Dr. Strange at the University of South Alabama. Your comparison of technological ignorance to illiteracy fascinated me. I had never before thought of how people really do find it acceptable to be technologically illiterate when these days technology is as common as reading and writing.

    Emily Carlson
    http://carlsoneedm310.blogspot.com

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  62. I am a tech savvy, future teacher, who just viewed your blog. I am a student in Dr. Stranges class, at the University of South Alabama.
    I believe that all teachers shouuld learn how to become tech literate. Our class blog is edm310fall2009.blogspot.com

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  63. Hello Mr. Fisch,
    I am a student at the University of South Alabama. Dr. John Strange assigned your post as part of his technology class for education majors. I enjoyed your post and the wonderful comments others have left. My class blog is daydedm310fall2009.blogspot.com
    Thank you for your very interesting perspective. I am striving to learn as much as I can about using technology in my classroom.

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  64. Mr. Fisch, as a requirement for my educational media class, EDM 310, I have read your blog.

    Your blog supports the idea that technology is the tool we need as teachers to gather the information necessary for our instruction. To become literate in the area of technology takes time, takes patience and takes diligence.

    Those that are tech literate acquired that knowledge through varied resources, but mostly through their own endeavors.

    My comments regarding your post can be found at my blog millshedm310fall2009.blogspot.com

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  65. Mr. Fisch, I am an older student in a Pre-Candidacy class for the Teaching program at the University of South Alabama. We were required to read your post and have been discussing in length this semester what a TL is? I am fascinated by this topic and am glad to see this is such a debatable topic. I enjoyed reading your post as well as the many comments, and have posted a response on my personal class blog.

    http://padgettaedm310fall2009.blogspot.com/

    I hope you continue to challenge the teachers in your district and around the world to question what makes a good teacher? Our children deserve us to be the best we can possible be, and through our desire to learn and grow they will in essence do the same. Thank you, and keep up the good work!

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  66. Hi, my name is Courtney DeFlanders and I read your post as part of a class assignment for Dr.Strange's edm310 class. My comments can be found at http://deflanderscedm310fall2009.blogspot.com

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  67. I have to say Mr. Fisch that I am so impressed about you. I am not trying to butter you up, but some of things you have said, have made me cry. Especially after reading the bit between you and Terry Sale. It made me sad for myself, because I don't think I ever had a teacher that was interested in what I learned. I took something away from what you commented about what we are here for as educators. I learned that my philosophy for teaching cannot be about a value or a goal, but must have a fundamental purpose. Thank you for inspiring me.
    Keysha Boltz http://edm310fall2009.blogspot.com
    I am from Dr. Strange's class at the University of South Alabama.

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  68. Mr. Fisch, I am a student at The University of South Alabama. For my EDM 310 class we were to read your blog and comment on it.

    I am completely blown away! Your post is AMAZING! I totally agree with you. The thing that amazed me the most was when you said when you taught math, 80% of the parents that came to conferences, at least 1 of them said they were never good at math. I am actually sitting at the beach right now visiting with a lady who does this to her children OFTEN! Last semester I tutored her daughter in math, and I cannot tell you how many times I heard her say that she has never been any good at math. This happened while I was sitting at her kitchen table with her daughter! No telling how many times she said it when I wasn't there!

    I agree with you, it's almost like people are proud of the fact that they are illiterate about some things. Truly, your blog was extremely eye opening! I cannot wait to share it with friends!

    Thank you for writing this. I want to be the best teacher I can possibly be, and reading blogs like this are teaching me so many new things, and I truly appreciate it! I definitely do not want to be a technologically illiterate teacher!

    -Staci Williams

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  69. Mr. Fisch,

    I was assigned to read your blog per my instructor of EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. That being said, I am so proud of you for writing what you "feel" and know to be the truth, versus what people want to hear. I have blogged about your post on my blog which is:

    http://brosetk.blogspot.com/
    Please feel free to read what I have written and comment if you like. Thanks and keep up the great work!
    ~Karla Broset

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  70. I agree with all you are saying, and in a perfect world this would work. However what about the little old lady who has been teaching for 30 years and uses little to no technology. Should she be fired?? I think she probably is a good teacher. What about the first year teachers who have just gotten out of school and don't know this information? Should they be held responsible or the schools from which they graduated? Should a principle be held responsible for insuring his teachers are tech savvy? Is that his number one priority as a school principle? Also I feel that a technological program runs best and must successfully in a well funded school district. Sadly every school in the country does not have adequate, working technology available to the students. I loved your points I just don't know if everyone everywhere can accomplish this. I had to read this post as a part of my EDM310 class assignment.

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  71. I agree with all you are saying, and in a perfect world this would work. However what about the little old lady who has been teaching for 30 years and uses little to no technology. Should she be fired?? I think she probably is a good teacher. What about the first year teachers who have just gotten out of school and don't know this information? Should they be held responsible or the schools from which they graduated? Should a principle be held responsible for insuring his teachers are tech savvy? Is that his number one priority as a school principle? Also I feel that a technological program runs best and must successfully in a well funded school district. Sadly every school in the country does not have adequate, working technology available to the students. I loved your points I just don't know if everyone everywhere can accomplish this. Thanks for your sharing your ideas! I had to read this post as a part of my EDM310 class assignment. You can contact me at http://posejedm310fall2009.blogspot.com/

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  72. Karl,
    I love how you speak your mind. I had to read this for my EDM 310 class at Universtiy of South Alabama. You can check out my blog at http://lankfordjedm310fall2009.blogspot.com/

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  73. I'm apart of the EDM 310 class at South Alabama and was assigned to read your blog about technologically illiterate teachers. I completely agree with you and your thoughts of how technologically illiterate people of today are almost proud that they don’t know the basics of technology. Like you said about a person who says they can’t read and how they wouldn’t be proud of that, but instead it’s ok to not understand math. I see this everyday at school and outside of school.

    It makes me sad to know that teachers don’t want to learn about the new technology that can be used in a classroom to prepare students for the future where technology is used for just about everything. You talked about how kindergartens today that will graduate in the year 2020. This statement made me realize that it is essential for a teacher to be willing to learn about all the new technology and to keep their students up to date. This would be the only way to prepare students for the real world.

    Thanks so much for allowing me to read your post and you can contact me at http://johnsonkaedm310fall09.blogspot.com/. Thanks again!

    Katie Johnson

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  74. I am a student at the University of South Alabama. This post was one of the requirements for my fall 310 EDM class. I agree with you and can see both sides because of being busy but we can't let our busy lives take away from the students that are being taught. I would like to thank you for posting this. I would like to check out my blog about your post at http:lsmithfall2009.blogspot.com. or you can twitter me at czwgurl. thank you so much for your thoughts on this topic.

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  75. Hello Mr Fisch, my name is Catherine and I have read your blog as a requirement for my class. I attend the University of South Alabama and am in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. I really thought your post was interesting. I think it would be better for teachers to understand the basics of technology. It is apart of our life and students today use it for most of their school work.
    You can contact me on my class blog, www.bryarscedm310fall2009.blogspot.com. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I will remember what you have said and try to apply it as I teach my students.

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  76. What an inspiration you are! You have put in words what many people need to hear, in this case read. I was touched by what you said about having a vision. "And by the end of the next decade, I think there will be very little chance of success for those that are technology illiterate. (Don’t forget, those Kindergartners that started school in the last month or so are the Class of 2020 – we need that 2020 Vision.)" You really put it into perspective for me. I read your blog as a class asignment, and thankful that I did. Our class blog site: edm310fall2009tashbin.blogspot.com
    Thank you!

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  77. Hi Mr. Fisch,
    My name is Lanadia Patrick, and I have read your blog and made a post about it on my personal blog as a requirement for my EDM 310class. I enjoyed your blog and it was very insightful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. My class blog is http://patrickledm310fall2009.blogspot.com/

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  78. Hi Mr. Fisch, I am Megan Bass and I read you rpost as a requirement to my EDM 310 class with Mr. Wakeman. I agree with you about teacher and how they need to be technologically literate. We can not teach our students and children about technology if we are not familiar and literate about technology ourselves. Please feel free to contact me on my class blog ast http://basskedm310spring09.blogspot.com or my twitter account KMBass8823. Thank you!

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  79. Ashley L.
    I have read your post as a requirement for my EDM 310 course. I am a student at Univ.of South Alabama. I enjoyed reading your post and hope others will jump on the education train that has technology as its conductor. We all need to be literate about technology, not just teachers. Thank you for sharing this post. My class blog- htt://lambertaedm10fall09.blogspot.com

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  80. I read your post as an assignment for my EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. While I don't quite agree with a technologically illiterate teacher today being the same as a teacher not being able to read or write 30 years ago, I do think you make some great points and I agree with your post for the most part. I wrote about it in my class blog. graingerredm310fall2009.blogspot.com

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  81. Mr. Fisch, thanks so much for sharing these enlightening thoughts on your blog. I very much enjoyed reading this post. I do agree with your comparison of tech illiterate teachers now and illiterate teachers 30 years ago. I read your blog as an assignment for my computer class at the University of South Alabama in Dr. Strange's class. And I'm happy I did. My class blog URL is http://musgroveledm310fall2009.blogspot.com/
    Thanks again.

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  82. I am in EDM 310 and as a class assignment we were required to read your blog. And to be truly honest, I'm glad I did. There was a lot that I completely agree with what you had to say. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us. There are times that we need to read things like this because it gives us a push to excel in our understating in technology and why should we not become technology illiterate. You can see my blog concerning your post at http://smithjusa.blogspot.com/

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  83. I really enjoyed reading your blog. I can certainly tell you are passionate about your views. I agree with you on so many levels. For one, yes teachers should be held accountable for their knowledge of technology and how to teach it in their classrooms and incorporate it in their lessons. If they don't know how they should be required to take classes and learn how. I can honestly say that in taking EDM 310 at the University of South Alabma, I have learned what other students are doing across America and in other parts of the world and it makes me frustrated that my own children do not have this same practice in their schools. Children need to be using technology as a part of their daily curriculum. why do we have computers in classrooms if they are not used? Thank you very much for your thoughts.

    Stephanie Tinney
    University of South Alabama
    tinneysedm310fall2009.blogspot.com

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  84. My name is Theresa Vester and I read your blog as part of an assignment for my EDM 310 class. I enjoyed this blog. I am learning so much in my EDM 310 class and totally agree with you about the need to be technologically literate. I don't think it needs to even be a choice for teachers to learn about new technology, it needs to be a requirement. You can contact me through my class blog http://tvesterfall2009.blogspot.com

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  85. Mr.Fisch, a little full of yourself, but you make a good point. computer-based learning is a great way of staying up to date as an educator. However, most educators aren't as computer savy as other.

    I graduated in 2006 and mostly all of my teachers relied on boring notes and worksheets to teach the material. my science class was given four brand new Apple desktops, but were rarely ever used for teaching purposes. The teachers had no idea of what utinsils they had available at no cost. (such as youtube, podcasts, etc.) Not beacause they didn't know, but because they chose to be ignorant of technology. This reading this assignment was arequirement of my EDM 310 class and i feel like it was a good assigment. I particularly liked the part about 2020 vision.

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  86. My name is Ham and I am taking Dr. Strange EDM310 class. Thank you for sharing. I agree with everything you said. I was one of those people who thought it was funny to be computer illiterate. When I was in high school in 1997, they told us we need to learn as much as possible about computers and I laughed. I now realize my teachers were right.

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  87. My name is Ruth Nazarian and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am taking EDM 310(Microcomputing Systems in Education and one of my requirements for class was to read your blog and comment about it. I read your blog and I agree that it is very important for teachers to be technologically literate in order to do justice to their students. Technology is an intricate part of our world and children need to learn how to use it to the fullest. Technology is changing constantly and teachers need to keep up and be willing to learn along with their students.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about teaching and technology , my class blog is nazarianredm310fall09.blogspot.com

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  88. Hello Mr. Fisch,

    Wow! Though you are very straight-forward, you are absolutely correct! It is not okay to be technologically illiterate in today's society. Learning how to use technology should be a requirement for all educators, young and old. I really enjoyed reading your opinion and I'm looking forward to reading some more of your work! As a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class, reading your blog was a requirement for the classes. I am glad that it was because you have inspired a new way of thinking!

    Samantha Sunderman
    Link to my blog: http://sundermansedm310fall2009@blogspot.com
    Twitter: SamySun

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  89. Hi my name is Kim Wright I read your post as a requirement for my class at the University of South Alabama. I loved you post and I feel that your comments were very true. We, as teachers, need to be able to teach our students about technology because once they get out of school the technology is going to be so much more advanced. Also, I agree with you and witness the fact that many people seem to be proud of being technology illiterate. They tend to use it as an excuse to not do the task at hand. Teachers need to be required to continue their technology education!
    You can read my blog at kimwrightfall2009.blogspot.com

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  90. This is Keith Burt. I read your post as a requirement for my EDM 310 class. I agree with basically everything you stated in your post. I'm not the most technologically literate person around campus, but I believe as long as I keep trying to learn new technological advances I can consider myself being successful. You can read my post at http://burtbedm310fall2009.blogspot.com

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  91. Mr. Fisch,

    Thank you for posting your thoughts on the topic "Is it okay to Be a Technologically Illiterate teacher?" I am a teacher who did not grow up with all of the technology that is available to our students. I am returning to the teaching field after being a stay-at-home mom for 10 years. It is amazing to me that so much has changed since I first taught school. I found your piece to be encouraging. I am desperatly trying to learn the new and updated versions of technology and how I can incorporate it with my teaching in order to know and reach my students in a more productive way. With that said, I am taking a EDM 310 class and will be posting my thoughts on my personal blog as an assignment. Should you have time, please read those comments on our clss blog which is http:/averittedm310fall09.blogspot.com. Thank you again.

    Christina Henderson

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  92. Hi,
    I'm a student at the University of South Alabama, Dr. Strange' EDM 310 class. I read your post and thought it was very interesting.
    I made a few comments about your post on my class blog.
    http://lynnjedm310fall2009.blogspot.com/
    -Jamie

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  93. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  94. Hi, I’m Kimberly, a student at the University of South Alabama. Dr. Strange sent my classmates & I here as a part of his EDM310 class.
    I agree emphatically with what you say. Just as it isn’t right for parents to act proud of mathematical incompetence, it is not right for teachers to think technological illiteracy is acceptable. Should teachers who aren’t technologically literate be fired (which I realize you aren’t saying)? No, I think there’s no need to jump to something like that, but there needs to be some negative consequences for teachers refusing to get it together & get with the times. Students today are generally extremely involved with technology & technology offer so many new ways to improve upon old teaching styles that it makes no sense for a supposed “teacher” to not at the very least know his or her way around a computer.
    Thank you for putting down your thoughts in this post. It was an interesting read!
    -Kimberly
    (http://windhamkedm310fall2009.blogspot.com/)

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  95. You make a lot of great points. I read your blog as a part of my assignment at the University of South Alabama for Dr. Strange's EDM class. MY blog site is mcdowelldedm310fall2009.blogspot.com

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  96. Hi Mr. Fisch,

    My name is Tosha Thomas, I read your blog as a requirement for Mr. Wakeman's EDM 310 class. I found your post so inspiring, I am realizing through this class that it is more important to be a technologically literate teacher than I once thought. I've always know the basics of how to navigate around but not as indepth as I'm currently learning. The comment about parents being proud of not being good at Math rings a bell with so many parents that I've been around. My own mother who is still young, brags about not knowing how to turn the computer on. In the past few weeks, my sisters and I have her learning the basics and she now has email and facebook. Thanks so much for your candid thoughts!

    http://tthomasfall2009.blogspot.com/ or twitter at ellajonmom

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  97. Hello, my name is Nicky Jittan. I read your post as a requirement for my EDM310 class. I really enjoyed your thoughts on teachers being technologically illiterate. I do agree with a lot of it. Please fell free to visit the rest of my comments at the following address: http://jittannedm310fall2009.blogspot.com/

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  98. Mr. Fisch,

    I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed reading your post on technologically illiterate teachers. I agree with you about teachers needing to be held responsible for their technology skills. Teachers should be able to use technology and like you said share it with their students. People are expected to keep up with technology why should schools and teachers be any different. I certainly hope that I will be a teacher that embraces new technology and integrates it into my classrooms. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    - Rachel Kinard
    http://kinardredm310fall2009.blogspot.com/

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  99. Mr Fisch I am a student at the university of South Alabama and reading your post was a part of my assignment from Mr. tashbin's EDM310 class. I enjoyed reading your post and find you to be a very intelligent individual with alot of great and I do mean great ideas on ways to help push technology forward. I love your no holds barred approach, and staright to the point agendas.
    Again thanks and feel free to visit my blog at http;//mccartydedm310fall2009.blogspot.com

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  100. In reading your blog (as an assignment from Dr. John Strange for his EDM310 class) I'm getting very worried about the lack of technical education in the classroom.

    Unlike my classmates I am not going to be a teacher. I need the extra "techno know how" to market myself to potential employers.

    So if students don't get this "know how" in the classroom then where will they get it? On the streets? I don't think so. They will, however have to live on the streets if they do not have marketable skills.

    Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness begins with a teachers' hand on a computer mouse.

    Keep fighting the good fight!
    Ginger Parnell
    http://parnellgedm310fall2009.blogspot.com/

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  101. Wow! Hi, My name is Elizabeth Eiland reading your post was a requirement for my EDM 310 Class with Mr. Sullivan. I enjoyed reading your post and everything that you had to say about our teachers being technologically literate. People do take pride or do not care about understanding technology. It is not difficult it is just putting forth the effort to learn new things. As an education major I hope to take what you have said and everything I am learning now or in the next few years into my classroom.
    I wish that more people were willing to learn. My twelve year old sister has always grown up with and understands the computer almost better than I do. I will one day be teaching children who might understand technology better than I and would hate for me not to meet their needs or learning abilities. Thank you so much for posting this, it will be added to my favorites and Del.is.cious account as soon as I can make one. Thanks again!! If you would like to see what else I posted about your post my blog is eilandeEDM310fall09.blogspot.com and my twitter name is lizziehippie.

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  102. Hi, I am Allison Benton, and I read your post as part of an assignment for Dr. Strange's and Mr. Sullivan's EDM 310 class. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on technological teachers. I think that teachers should be held accountable for thei technology skills, as well as anyone who is working in the education system. I think that knowing about technology only helps makes teachers better in teaching their students. If students do not learn about technology in school, where will they learn about it? I appreciate your thoughts on technology and teachers. I really think that you have great thoughts and ideas on technology literate teachers. My comments can be found at my class blog (http://bentonaedm310fall2009.blogspot.com/). Also, my Twitter name is zta06.

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  103. Hi, my name is Frederick Patterson. I am from Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. My comments can be found at my class blog (http://pattersonfrededm310fall2009.blogspot/).

    Students shouldn't go backwards but forward in meaning since technology is available use it if their in reach for the children, rather than letting them get to college and can even cut a computer on

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  104. Hello my name is Jessica DeBose and im currently a student at the University of South Alabama. This blog was brought to my attention by my professor Dr. Strange. I think this is a very interesting blog and a wake up call to teachers. Teachers could possibly end without a job because of the new era. The rest of my comments can be found at http://debosejedm310fall2009.blogspot.com

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  105. Hi, I read your blog for an assignment in EDM 310 for Dr. Strange. I really agree that just like being able to read all teachers should know the ways of our new and advanced technology. I think the use of more technology in the classroom would really advance students knowledge and achievement on test. I think your blog and ideas are awesome. Also, I do agree that a teacher should always be open for a constant learning experience in the classroom!
    http://reedaedm310fall2009.blogspot.com/

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  106. Hey, my name is kriston killingsworth from Dr. Strange's edm 310 class at the University of South Alabama and I think what you are saying is like motivation to teachers and employers who are thinking about taking technology classes because they should be technology literate.

    kristonedm310fall.blogspot.com

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  107. Hi, I'm Ashley Nichols from University of South Alabama. I'm from Dr.Strange's EDM 310 class.I'm writing this comment to thank you for the information on the differences between a tech-illerate and teachers back 30 years ago that couldn't read or write. s you made.But just like other comments on illerate teachers out there they need to definitely be more literate to teach other people. I agree on some of the commentMy class blog is nicholsa310fall2009.blogspot.com

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  108. Great points. I especially liked your analogy, comparing tech literacy to actual literacy. I wrote about your agreement with our teacher, Dr. Strange, in my blog. The post is titled, Strange Fische Thoughts.

    Cade Somers
    Student at University of South Alabama
    Dr. Strange's EDM 310 TT 2 Class
    http://somerscedm310fall2009.blogspot.com/

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  109. Mr.Fisch I have read your post as part of an assignment for Ms.Averitt's EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. I thought it was a great post. My comments can be found on my class blog www.langhamkedm310fall2009.blogspot.com. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.
    Kim

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  110. Hello my name is Brittany and I have read your blog as an assignment in my EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. I love your statement about Technologically Illiterate teachers being the same as Illiterate teachers 30 years ago. You may read my response on my class blog at http://thomasbedm310fall2009.blogspot.com/

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  111. My name is Dillon and I am in Dr. Strange's Fall 2009 EDM310 class. I was required to read and post. I have to say I certainly agree with what you are saying about teachers being technology literate. I strongly agree with what you said about parents and teachers and how they should not be proud that they are not techliterate! You make some very extreme-but I would say correct- parallels between being technology literate and knowing how to read and write. In this century, you must know how to use and incorporate technology, especially in the classroom.

    I really appreciate your ideas and am so thankful that our teacher Dr. Strange has led us to your opinions and ideas. You may contact me through my email. Dillon Rogers gmail


    EDM 310 Blogspot

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  112. Hello, My name is Ashley Lambert and I am a student at Univ. of South Alabama. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts about teachers and technology in the class room. As part of an assingment, Ms. Averitt's EDM310 Class, I read your post and I am thankful to you for putting your thoughts out here for us to view.

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  113. Hi! I am a student at the University of South Alabama and am currently in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. I think that your post is a bit extreme and that you are quite opinionated, but at the same time I think that passion is an excellent quality in teachers. I also think that in any work field in service training is required. So, if technology is something teachers use in their field than they should be up to date with it. Thank you for sharing this insight, I really enjoyed your post. My blog link is paultedmfall2009.blogspot.com

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  114. Hi, my name is Julie Szteiter and I read your blog for my EDM310 class with Dr.Strange at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed reading your blog! You are quite passionate about all of this technology talk! I like! I like how you made the argument about how the lack of math and technology skills are more socially accepted, rather than reading. I want to be an art teacher so I know where you are coming from. The first programs to get cut are computer and art and those are arguably the most important! Thank you for your time, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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  116. Good evening. My name is Alexis Taylor and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. I have read your post as a requirement for my EDM 310 class. I can really appreciate your thoughts on educator and student technological literacy. As a Secondary Math major, I can relate on how it seems to be more socially accepted to NOT know mathematics but NOT socially accepted to not be able to read. It saddens to know that an educator refuses to better him or herself in order to better his or her students. It is a lot of information to learn, but although I know quite a bit about technology, there will always be more to learn. If an educator cannot take the time to attend a professional development workshop to become a better educator, then I believe this is not the field for that person. It is our duties as educators,both present and future, to learn new things so that we can educate our students new things. They are our future and it is up to us to produce productive citizens. You can contact me at http://tayloraedm310fall09.blogspot.com/. Thank you for your time and thank you for your post. I enjoyed the reading!!!

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  117. Hi, my name is Maggie Tarver and I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. While reading your post I had several friends and family members that came to mind. There are so many educators and others who are ignorant to the idea of technology and this is such an eye-opening post for them to see. I enjoyed reading your thoughts, thank you for spending the time to get these valuable thoughts out to the public.

    My blog can be viewed:http://tarvermedm310fall2009.blogspot.com/

    or you can find me on twitter: MaggieTarver

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  118. Mr. Fisch,
    I read your post and all its comments. I am in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class where it's a requirement to read your post, but not all its comments. I was genuinely intrigued by the thoughtful dialogue. In particular I was interested in your thoughts on personal learning networks. I am going into the profession of counseling, and I'm excited to learn how a PLN will enhance my ability to help others. I would like to thank you and all your colleagues who posted comments. I have commented further on our class blog www.edm310fall2009.blogspot.com

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  119. Hi Mr. Fish. I'm a student in Dr. Strange's Fall EDM 310 class and I really enjoyed reading your post. For further comments that I have read my class blog: http://rabbjedm310.blogspot.com.

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  120. I am a student in the College of Education at the University of South Alabama. I read this post as an assigment for EDM 310, a class that is teaching us future teachers to be more technologically literate. I agree with these ideas. I think that it is important to be the best teachers we can be, for the students' sakes. That means at least making the effort to be technologically literate. This includes a wide range of qualities and abilities, which means that teachers have to be open to change, learning, making mistakes, and more learning. I think that teachers have to consider the students' future and present them with technology based resources and information that will help them succeed now and always.

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  121. I'm a student at The University of South Alabama, Majoring in Elementary Education. I read your post as an assignment for my EDM 310 class, which is a class to help us future teacher to be more technology literate. I agree with your post that teachers should be able to know to the best of their knowledge about technology for our students. I really enjoyed reading your post. Thank you
    Tiffany Tuinder

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  122. Mr. Fisch, I have read your post as a requirement of Dr. Averitt's EDM 310 class. I think that teachers should be somewhat literate when it comes to technology just because it's "the big thing" out now, but some are not. Learning it make take a while for some teachers. I can be contacted at my class blog which is http://kingkedm310fall09.blogspot.com/. I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts and opinions on this interesting topic.

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  123. I read your posts as a requirement for my EDM 310 course at South Alabama and learned so much! Thank you! It gave me a lot to think about as a future teacher, and helped me realize how important technology is, and will be, when teaching in the classroom.

    You may contact me on my blog, http://daughdrillaedm310fall2009.blogspot.com/ or on Twitter, @ajdtulip.

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  124. I had to read this blog as a requirement for my educational media class and I would just like to say thank you for opening my eyes to a growing issue among educators today. Your blog has made me re-evaluate myself as a future teacher and pay more attention to my skills and learning abilities when it comes to technology that I could use in the near future to aid my classroom instruction. IF you have any suggestions or new ideas you would like to see in future classrooms please email me at seh603@gmail.com

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  125. here id my class blog if you would like to know what the rest of my classmates think of your blog !http://www.edm310fall2009tashbin.blogspot.com/

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  126. Dear Mr. Fisch, You certainly come straight to the point, do not you? But I throughly agree with your opinion of the tech illiterate. If one can not even try to learn, why be proud of it. It makes no sense given all resources out there to use and make oneself smarter. As a teacher, one must instill a fondness for learning, hopefully. Recently I was talking with my daughter whom is an teacher at an high school, and I was discussing the Alabama school system, and my daughter told me when I get my degree and start working to keep my mouth shut and just do my job. Nice, huh? I'll have to try and change things, will I not?

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  127. Dear Mr. Fisch I had to read your post as a requirement for my EDM 310 class. I found your post very interseting and I agree teachers should be technologically literate.I believe i am fairly technologically literate and hope to improve my skills tremendously by the end of my EDM 310 class. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You can contact me at http://sdenhamfall2009.blogspot.com

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  128. I read your blog as an assignment for my EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. You made some great points and great conversation starters. You can read my comments at mcanallysedm310fall2009.blogspot.com.

    Congratulations on your winning blog site!!

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  129. First of all I would like to thank you for such a great post. It was very interesting to see your thoughts on technologically illiterate teachers. I did read you post as a requirement for my EDM 310 class at University of South Alabama. I can be contacted at http://hvickreyfall2009.blogspot.com. Thanks Again!

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  130. Mr. Fisch, I read your post as a requirement for my EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. I thought your comments and reactions were entirely correct. I have posted my own blog about yours on our class blog site. You can see it and contact me at http://jernigancedm310fall09.blogspot.com/. Thank you for your candidness about this subject. It's very refreshing! Sincerely,
    Cinnamon Jernigan

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  131. I have just read your post for the second time as a course requirement for Dr. Strange's EDM 310. I agree with your points, and I especially appreciated your comparison of technology to the combustible engine because it is applicable to everyone. Thank you for your contribution to my learning, fortunately and overwhelmingly it seem to be never-ending. You can find a more in-depth response to your post on my class blog at http://cappsaedm310fall2009.blogspot.com/

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  132. Hi, my name is Paige. As a requirement for Mr. Wakeman's EDM 310 class at University of South Alabma we were to read your post. I really enjoyed reading what you had to say about technologically illiterate teachers. I learned a lot from your thoughts and information. I can be contacted at http://ppettyfall2009.blogspot.com

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  133. Mr. Fisch,

    I skimmed through the comments, so I hope I’m not repeating anything. I do think it is imperative that teachers become literate in the use of technology, but what do you consider literate? Excuse me if you already answered this question, but like the one commenter said, is it the ability to successfully prepare a PowerPoint presentation? Or is it the ability to successfully integrate the technology into the classroom? I consider myself fairly technological literate, but I would hesitate to say that I’m literate at integrating technology in the classroom in a way that students would really benefit from it. I'm hoping to change that with further technology education.

    While I agree that we need to educate students in the use of technology, sometimes it isn’t the teachers that are the problem. I’m currently a pre-service teacher doing an internship at a high school. One of the tasks given us by our professor is to observe the use of technology in the classroom. According to the teacher I’m observing, it isn’t her technological skills that are in question, but the school administration that ties their hands with restrictive firewalls or prohibitive software policies. How are we supposed to deal with such restrictive policies? I mean, I could use a proxy to access an Internet site, but I don’t think the administration would smile upon that. All in all, it is kind of troubling when I think about how we are hindering the students by not arming them with the resources available via the Internet.

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  134. I wholeheartedly believe that teachers today NEED to be technologically literate. Our modern way of life depends heavily on technology and it is completely unacceptable for educators to be illiterate in this domain.

    During the 2008 Obama/McCain campaign, I remember hearing John McCain admit he was computer illiterate. He claimed that he did not use e mails and that he completely relied upon his family and staff to communicate on the web. When my boyfriend, a computer and electrical engineer, heard this about McCain he was appalled and refused to cast his vote for someone who was so disconnected from the way modern individuals live.

    On the other hand, Obama's online campaigning, networking, and fund raising proved that technological literacy is essential for success in today's age. Although it may be difficult for new users, it is necessary for teachers to be current in the tech domain. "Not being a computer person" is no longer an acceptable excuse for failing to integrate technology in the classroom.

    -Brittany Y.

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  135. I do believe teachers should be held accountable to change their teaching methods as times change. I do not think it is fair that once a teacher gets a job, they can continue doing things the way they did them the first day of teaching forever. The world is changing and teachers should too.

    However, to become technologically savvy, teachers need help. Technology is constantly changing and when we learn one technique, there are 50 more than can be learned along with it. Technology is confusing and without proper instruction it can be frustrating and not worth the effort.

    I do not agree that being technologically illerate is the same as being illerate in past generations. Once someone learns to read, they know it. Vocabulary expands, but the basic concept of being able to read stays the same. Technology is constantly changing. Being an expert on the computer 5 years ago does not mean one has any idea how to use the technology of today.

    Another point I found interesting was "If we teach it, we have to do it." I am torn on this. I do agree that you cannot teach something you are not familiar with. However, this leads to the point of teachers in general. If we really have to do it before we teach it, shouldn't all teachers have experience in the real world of chemistry, biology, government, economics, journalism etc if we are to teach students about them?

    Jennifer B.

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  136. Lots of great comments here from the University of South Alabama - thanks everyone. Unfortunately, I don't have time at the moment to try to reply to all of them, but a quick reply to a couple that stood out to me.

    @Jessica K. Pose - I've actually had that conversation about firing folks, although in the context of media specialists - see this post. I wholeheartedly agree that we have to provide the professional development and support to teachers in order to accomplish this. But I was very clear in this post that I was talking about teachers that were refusing to learn, not teachers that hadn't learned yet.

    And, ultimately, my answer to your question is "Yes, at some point we should fire them." Because it really doesn't matter how hard it is for us, or whether it's "fair" or not that we have to learn something new. Because our job is to meet the needs of our students, and I don't think you can do that if you're technologically illiterate. Yes, it's going to be tough for a lot of folks, but that's our job. If someone doesn't like it, then they need to get another job.

    @Jennifer - Again, I agree that we have to help teachers, but this post was directed at folks that refuse that help, often with disdain.

    As far as your argument about technology illiteracy being different than being illiterate in the past, I would agree. You actually seem to be making a stronger argument than I did, that being technology illiterate is even worse than not being able to read or write in the past. Because literacy today keeps evolving and we have to evolve with it - we can't learn it once and then assume "we've got it" forever.

    As far as your last question, my answer would be yes. Yes, teachers need to be doing chemistry and government and mathematics and whatever - right alongside their students.

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  137. It is not acceptable for teachers to continue to ignore the technical world we live in. Many teachers have the option to not use technology for learning purposes, and I completely agree with you that this ignorance falls on the administrators. I am a pre-service teacher currently enrolled at the University of Florida, and have recently learned many things that meaningfully incorporate technology into the classroom.
    Now that my technologically illiterate glasses have been removed, I can not imagine teaching students without using the things I have learned and continue to learn. The sad part is realizing technology also has a very limited box in the college class, where many of the restrictions seen in public schools are removed. I doubt this will continue much longer with younger professors filling in.

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  138. As I was reading this post I found myself going back and forth on how I felt about it. I have a lot of thoughts on this issue, so hopefully my comments maintain some level of organization...

    I thought about some of the best classes I have taken and realized that most of them involved very little technology (all were taken within the last 8 years). My teachers were experts in their fields and delivered the course content in engaging lectures. However, as I continued to read this post I realized that I pretty much only learned content in those classes. My specific knowledge increased, but my ability to use technology along with that knowledge was not impacted at all. Some teachers are excellent at teaching their content, but not at teaching to the "whole student."

    For the next two weeks I will be in a high school American History classroom. I've already spent one week there and the only technology in the classroom is the occasional PowerPoint presentation. The teacher is very reluctant to integrate technology, probably because he is uncomfortable with it and because he is of the assumption that it will never work when you need it. We started to get into a debate about the value of YouTube and other online resources. It breaks my heart that his students will not receive the benefit of technology in their classrooms.

    As far as I know, there is no technology exit exam for students before they graduate. To play devil's advocate, we are not testing their technological competency, so why should schools go the extra mile to hire tech savvy teachers? (If there is such a test in existence I would love to know about it).

    Expressing my true thoughts, I believe that technological literacy is an essential skill for success in life. In 20 years, today's students will be coming into their own, getting ready to run the world I live in. I personally want them to be well educated and capable of working effectively and efficiently with the resources at hand. By providing them with a technology-rich education, we as teachers will do our part in giving them the greatest advantage. We can not accomplish this if we are not technologically literate ourselves.

    I am currently taking an EdTech course at UF and as I like to tell my friends, "In the last 4 weeks technology has repeatedly smacked me in the face." And I am so glad for it. I am proud of all that I have learned so far and I know I will be a better teacher because of it.

    Angie St. George
    University of Florida
    ProTeach Graduate Student

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  139. Griselda F.
    I don't agree that teachers should be technologically illiterate especially, if they currently graduated from college. However, we must take into account that many of these teachers have been out of school for decades and their not use to teaching with technology. Some don't even know how to use excel or PowerPoint.

    Moreover, it should definitely be the administrators or superintendent's responsibility to provide programs or courses that will educate their teachers/staff about the importance of using technology effectively.

    In addition, many people will not go out of their way to learn how to use technology because their either too busy or lazy, or just don't have the money to pay for a course. Therefore, if schools provide their teachers with alternative programs where they can learn how to use and integrate technology in their classrooms and their everyday lives than more people and teachers will be willingly to learn.

    Another reason why many adults do not thank its important to be technologically literature is because their current job does not require such skills and others relate technology with adolescents. Therefore, jobs should demand their employees to be computer literature and maybe offer a course to teach them how to navigate and use the internet.

    Then again, what defines technologically literate? Does it refer to a person who knows how to use Microsoft programs and navigate the internet because as far as i'm concern many people can do that. Or are we talking about a more advance literacy, where you can create your own web page? What exactly do you have to know in order to be technologically literate?

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  140. I don't think it is accurate to say that a technologically illiterate teacher today is the equivalent of an illiterate teacher 30 years ago. At least not for now....

    The reason I say this is because most schoolwork is still done the old fashion way, with books and paper and pencil. I am currently doing practicum work at a local high school, and email and video are the extent of technology use in the classroom I observe. And, i don't think this is giving these kids a worse education.

    In the future you may be correct, but in my opinion, not now.

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  141. @Eric - Well, I would disagree. I think the high school you're doing your practicum at is not preparing its students to be successful - educationally, professionally or personally - in the 21st century. As David Warlick says, we should be spending less time paper training kids and more time preparing them to use the tools of their time. We should be connecting our students with others around the world, not confine their learning to the four walls of their classroom and a static, out-of-date textbook that promotes low-level thinking.

    Of course, I could be wrong.

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  142. @Eric - One more thing. Your argument seems to be that since the teachers at the high school you're doing your practicum at are technologically illiterate (at least in their practice with students), therefore students don't need it. Unless you think the goal of education is prepare students to attend that high school, I don't think that's a particularly convincing argument.

    If you haven't yet, I would highly recommend you read through the comments before yours on this post - I think there are some really interesting ideas there - most contributed by folks other than me (and often disagreeing with me) - that I think would be worth discussing in your practicum high school.

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  143. Reading your blog as an assignment for Mr. Wakeman's EDM 310 course at the University of South Alabama. I read over several posts that I could relate with. As a teacher I've heard from many parents that they were "never any good at ______ either." I think it's okay for us to admit our struggles to our children, but I think we have to watch how we influence them with our words. Teachers that refuse to use technology are the same as anyone that refuses to continue in their professional development in their careers. What would we say about a doctor that didn't keep up with new procedures? How would we feel about a contractor that didn't keep up with his licences? We wouldn't want anything to do with these people. I think you have to be willing to grow and change with whatever profession you choose. I am curious of the answer to the question, "How much technology do you have to know to be considered literate?" I guess with the constant change in technology, that may be hard to answer. I enjoyed many of the comments in your blog. I'm going to post further comments in my blog, which can be found at http://echupekfall2009.blogspot.com

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  144. The goal of education is to prepare students to be contributing members of society. Teachers hope to convey to their students both information and the means to utilize that information. What has not changed over the past 30 years is the type of information to be conveyed. The question becomes about conveying the means to utilize that information.
    Certain of those skills are not connected to technology. Higher-order thinking skills do have a technological prerequisite. These skills can be taught to students without the teacher using technology or asking their students to use technology. And if students can learn the information and how to utilize it without technology, what is the role of technology in the classroom?
    Technology is the medium of expression for both the information and the skills needed to utilize the information. Just as a man today can build and live in a house without electronic tools, students can be taught without electronic tools. But those students will be ill-prepared for 21st century society, just as a house without electricity would be ill-prepared for a freezing winter.
    Teachers cannot ignore the medium of expression that students will be using in society. And it is quickly becoming true that technological literacy is as important today as reading and writing 30 years ago. 21st century society will require its citizens to communicate with technology, and a teacher unwilling to learn technological literacy is being irresponsible to their students.
    Technology gathers myriad information that students can easily access. Technology provides an environment for students to easily learn and practice higher-order thinking skills. Technology will be the medium of expression that connects people together. And none of that can be ignored.

    Adam Heinemann
    University of Florida
    ProTeach Graduate Student

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  145. Your analogy between a technologically illiterate teacher today and a teacher who could not read or write 30 years ago got me thinking. I don't think that is accurate today but I think it definitely will be in the future. Because technology is changing so fast, it's hard for me to guess how far into the future that will be the case. I am currently working on a Masters in Education and taking a course in Educational Technology. Before this year, I did not envision technology as an integral part of being a teacher. In a short time I have already become excited about using technology in my future classroom. I am currently doing a practicum in a high school class that does not incorporate technology into the lessons. While I am there I find myself imagining how I would add things I have learned in my class to classroom activities.

    I want to be a History teacher and, to me, being a teacher means being a lifelong learner. Just as I naturally intend to stay informed on current research in my field, it will be my job as a teacher to research new technological innovations and make sure I am getting the proper training I need to use them. Teachers who do not view the internet as a resource for subject content, teaching ideas, and classroom activities are putting themselves and their students at a disadvantage.

    -Megan W.

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  146. angiestg makes some very important points. There are a lot of factors, and one in particular is the infrastructure provided in the school. I've seen many intelligent teachers (who are very proficient on Amazon and EBay) give up on using tech at schools, due to older hardware, no tech support, etc. They also work in a system that rewards traditional command-and-control classroom management, where risk taking is frowned upon. I say this because I feel that blaming the teacher misses the point. It's a design issue, a systems issue, a leadership issue.

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  147. Karl,
    I agree with your view on a technologically illiterate teacher. I like the way you stated what was on your mind. I had to read your post for my EDM 310 class at South Alabama. My blogspot is http://jclarkfall2009.blogspot.com/
    Jenny

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  148. I think your comment is a bit extreme, but I still (somewhat cautiously) agree. Technology in the classroom is a valuable as the teacher. I have always been skeptical of using "technology in the classroom" as a catchphrase because even through my undergraduate career technology meant copying notes off of a powerpoint. The powerpoint in this case was nothing more than a really expensive piece of chalk. I whole heartedly agree that teachers need to evolve and change with their students, and honestly I wonder how much extra time it might take to integrate technology into meaningful learning. (I'm a preservice teacher and still might have some blind optimism of how this might pan out so take my comments for what you will.) If you pay attention to your students and note what they are interested in, I imagine they would be eager to tell you about it. It always floors me how quickly technology changes, but also how eager children are to teach me about it. I don't ever have to do any personal research when I want to learn about the newest technology; I have to find a twelve year old. Kids love teaching adults, and I think we should be happy to learn what motivates them. I would encourage teachers to learn about the new technologies from their own students and then figure out how they can intertwine technology and content to make lessons relevant to students. It would be the same as relating literature or economics or science to something meaningful in the students lives. If blogs make that real-world connection for them, by all means use one! It might take a little extra effort, but engaging your students would also save you a lot of time trying to control a classroom full of disinterested students. I might change your comment to "a lazy teacher today is equivalent to a lazy teacher 30 years ago."

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  149. Mr. Fisch,
    My name is Mallory and I read your blog as a requirement for my EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. I agree with your statement. I think that technology is important to education, but that one can still learn without it if need be. Thank you for putting your thoughts and experiences out there for future educators to learn from. You can read my blog about your post at malloryburkefall2009.blogspot.com.

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  150. All right...after reading this post, and many of the comments it has generated, I am a bit overwhelmed by everything that's been said. I notice, first, that it's people who seem to think of themselves as technologically literate (from what I gather, anyway) that are participating in this conversation. It's interesting, because those who do are not "technologically literate" are not going to participate in this conversation--thus highlighting what I think is the point that was being made in the original post. If teachers are "technologically illiterate" and refuse to keep up with the changing times, they hinder their student's exploration of what technology can help them achieve and are leaving them out of this global conversation that's going on without them.

    Perhaps that was inartfully stated, but hopefully the gist of what I'm tryign to say is understood. I'm a preservice Social Studies teacher, and I can't imagine not bringing technology into my (future) classroom--partly because I feel like it makes teaching and learning more fun. But mostly because my job will be to teach students how to critically evaluate all the information that's thrown at them, and I can't do that if I don't show them all the different ways that that can happen, and all the tools out there to help them deal with it.

    Zahra C.

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  151. I completely and 100% agree with what you have to say, as well as what Mr. Freedman had to say. The point is, people take pride in their ignorance because it is exactly that- ignorance. We have to stop babying people and tiptoeing around the things that are extremely necessary for our students and our society.
    Not only is technology becoming an extremely integral part of our society, but it is something that almost all of today's students use to some degree or another. Part of being a good teacher is using mediums that our students understand and using them to make their learning more meaningful.
    Numerous studies show how responsive students are to incorporating technology in their learning, and we CANNOT BE IGNORANT TO THIS FACT.
    Teachers, as well as the rest of society, need to be held accountable and educate themselves FULLY on their own profession. If you refuse to listen to research and the things that stare us so viscously in the face as what needs to be done to further our success as a society, well then, you should reconsider what you do. NO more sugar coating and "walking on egg shells." I am not the most "technologically saavy" person, but I am taking the steps to learn because I know that it will make me a better educator. We should all try to do our best to do the things that will accomplish our goal, and that create a brighter future by actually educating our students.

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  152. I read your blog and through most of the comments. I have very mixed feelings about too much technology in the classroom. While I believe technology is good and can really enhance a subject/classroom, I worry about it becoming about the "glitz and glamor" of the presentation and not the content. I am a preservice teacher and I hope to learn as many ways to use technology in my future classroom, however, I believe I received a great education with no more technology than a powerpoint. The past few weeks in my class I've learned more about technology then I have in my whole life and I know that is a good thing! I hope I can learn to use technology correctly while still providing my students a great education.

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  153. This is a very extreme analogy, it is almost an accusation. At first glance this seems so ridiculous because obviously students are still learning from teachers who aren’t technologically literate, but looking at history this makes sense. In the Victorian era education for girls often focused on etiquette, art, and being a proper housewife. At the time instruction in science, math and other subject areas seemed unnecessary and many teachers weren’t trained to teach these content areas and so math and science were not a part of the curriculum. In today’s world an education without math or science wouldn’t be considered much of an education at all. Even if teachers today aren’t trained to be technologically literate, students still need to be educated on technology.

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  154. I read this post as a requirement for Mr. Wakeman, EDM 310. "How long does it take for someone to wake up to the fact that technology is part of life, not an add-on?" I agree with you, technology is not an add-on. Technology is a part of every day life. If we can not participate in every day life how to we teach our student. Their is a smart board in every class room at Griggs Elementary, if the teachers don't use them what will the principal think?

    My twitter name is shukelia or I can be contacted at smitchellfall2009.blogspot.com

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  155. This was a very interesting blog to read! It really made me think about my future classroom. First and foremost, what do you truly consider to be a "technologically illiterate teacher?" I do not know if showing powerpoints and material on an overhead truly makes a "literate" teacher. On the other hand, I do not believe that a teacher should be making it necessary for students to be blogging, twittering, etc. to make the teacher "technologically literate." I agree students should be exposed to elements of technology, because our world is heading completely in that direction. I feel like not exposing them to this would do them a disservice, but I do not know that it is necessarily the most important aspect.

    I feel like the content still is what needs to be focused on. The material is what, at the end of the day, really is what the students are there for, to learn the subjects. I feel like using technology can very much make it more interesting for the students to learn. I also believe that it is important for students to use technology in classrooms. I feel like it is very important for students to know how to research online, how to find important information, and to get a gist of certain programs and whatnot. They should be exposed to Word, Excel and PowerPoint. They should be taught how to find articles online, and how to conduct legitimate research online. And teachers who do not incorporate these aspects of technology are perhaps "illiterate."

    I do not feel, however, that because a student is not taught to blog and twitter and whatnot, that the teacher is pegged as "illiterate" and the students are being disserviced. I agree that these tools can be positively incorporated into the classroom, and its great for teachers to have their own websites and wikis. They can be very helpful for posting class information. And I wholeheartedly agree that it is necessary to have students learning about and through using technology, because it is so prevalent in our world, but how much is too much? And at what point are we taking away from learning the content? Does using twitter make it more of a trend then a helpful tool for learning?

    Mallory K.

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  156. Before I read the whole blog, I got a little defensive, thinking, "Teaching is not all about technology! I can be a good teacher without being a technological genius!" Upon reading the blog (and subsequently some of the 155 comments), I realized that no one expects me to be a master of technology, but it is my civic duty as a teacher to implement it in my classroom. I have always thought, "Why should I use technology in my classroom if generations before me have succeeded without it?" Clearly, my though processes were all wrong; sure Laura Ingalls Wilder was a good teacher without using technology, but her students did not need to be prepared for a world where technology holds an integral part! Clearly, it would be an injustice to my future students if I continue to be scared of technology....I cannot instill that fear in my students. Through my technology class and work in my Practicum, my goal is to become familiar and comfortable with technology so that I can be the best teacher that I can be. Technology isn't all that scary; after all, it is beginning to be made for everyone (how easy is Twitter?!) Someone who graduates with her Master's Degree in Social Studies Education in 2010 has to be proficient in technology, or else that degree is a fraud!
    --Louisa L

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  157. Not only can technology prove to be overwheliming, but the vast array of opinions on your blogs has become that way as well. As I sit here attempting to digest all that I've read, I have to reiterate a point that Mallory brings up, what is your definition of "technologically illiterate" as opposed to "technologically literate"? Several inferences can be made on this, so my comment will be based off of what I am assuming you mean by those terms.

    I consider myself "technologically literate" to an extent. I am not completely inept when it comes to using a computer. If there is something that I am not sure of, I quickly look it up and teach myself. However, I am willing to ask questions when it comes to all forms of techology. Not knowing how to use something does not make me "technologically illiterate." The fact that I am being proactive and attempting to learn how to use said technology speaks enough for itself. I do not feel as though you should write people off just because they are unaware of how to operate certain systems. It's a matter of whether or not they're willing to learn that makes them completely illiterate.

    As a preservice teacher I look forward to implementing various forms of technology into my classroom. However, this is not going to be my main focus nor do I think it ever should be just because our society is advancing so rapidly with technology. It is my job, first and foremost, to ensure that I accurately present content to my students and establish an open learning environment that encourages critical thinking. Technology will be a supplemental tool in my lessons. Its only use in the classroom is to enhance the learning process for both students and teachers and to make information more readily available to both parties. Anything else is simply taking away from the next generation's education. If you want them to have even more hands-on experience with technology, implement technology classes into the curriculum as a requirement.

    Lindsey S.

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  158. @Lindsey (and several other folks) - there is not enough room here or time to succinctly describe what I think a "technologically literate" teacher looks like. That's a process I've been going through for about four years and I imagine my thoughts will continue to evolve until I die. All you have to do is just read my blog - my entire blog - in all your spare time and you'll be able to see that process :-)

    But I will say this much. It's not knowing how to use Microsoft Office. (In fact, I would suggest that if you include that you are actually on the wrong track.) And it's not "being able to look something up" - while that's great, and certainly having the sum total of all human knowledge a click away should certainly change our classrooms, that's not at all what I'm talking about.

    I would suggest you start developing your own Personal Learning Network to help you try to figure this out for yourself. I would also suggest you explore Connectivism to start getting an idea of what many of us are talking about.

    Being literate in the 21st century is very, very different than being literate in the 20th century was, and you're going to have to dig a lot deeper than this one post to get an idea what this is all about. And I hope you do.

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  159. Like many of my fellow classmates in a technology class at UF, I have mixed feelings about this blog and the subsequent comments. I can see the value that technology can have in expanding a student's knowledge base and preparing them for their futures.
    Being technologically illiterate (in whatever form the definition of this term takes) is a disservice to students as it prevents them from seeing and utilizing a skill set they will need in the future.
    The utilization of technology should be considered another skill (much like reading or writing) that teachers must educate students in. This does not mean that pen and paper assignments or lectures are not important or relevant, but rather that they should exist simultaneously in the classroom with technology.
    I'm not sure that new teachers coming out of college prep programs are the problem. Most, if not all that I know of, have some technology component in the required coursework. Students of these programs are being trained to utilize technology as it exists now in the classroom. Problems arise, however, when the technology they learned is replaced by newer technology. There should be more accountability at the administrative level and more teacher work days should be allotted to education in integrating new technologies into classrooms.
    ~Katy M

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  160. Mr. Karl Fisch,
    I read this post for an assignment in my EDM 310 class, Dr. Strange is the instructor.
    I agree with your ideas about teachers thinking it's acceptable for being technologically illiterate. It's a shame when teachers become comfortable with teaching the same lesson the same way they taught it 25 years ago. I agree that something must be done to prepare our students for the future. Teachers should never stop learning. It's important to keep up with what's going on around us.
    Thank you so much for posting this blog. Some things need to be said in order to make people realize their mistakes.
    You are welcome to visit my blog at http:/lettledm310fall2009.blogspot.com/

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  161. Mr. Fisch,

    I don't know what's scarier, the fact that what you say is unfortunately true, or the fact that is isn't so obvious to more people. I feel like technology has this stigma about it and people just stereotype it, never looking past their initial experience with it, especially if that experience was unfavorable. What those people don't understand is that being technologically literate isn't about writing a computer program in binary, or being able to take apart a computer and diagnose a blown capacitor. Moreover, they don't realize that technology isn't some specialized language that is designed to exclude members that don't speak it, such as legal or medical jargon. It’s really quite the opposite. Most applications of technology (i.e. the internet) are designed to make things easier, because they are ACTUALLY easier. What I mean by this is that nearly every website and web application found on the internet is designed for beginning web users in mind. EVERYTHING on the internet has a tutorial, and if it doesn't, someone on YouTube or a forum somewhere would surely be delighted to help you figure it out. Old generations need to move on or move out of the way. Hopefully our generation won't be so selfish.

    Chance L.

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  162. If a teacher cannot "look something up", then they cannot survive in the modern classroom. That same teacher probably uses the same lesson plans year after year after year. Since that is what we would call technologically illiterate, I find it hard to believe that the same teacher can hold students' attention. Embracing technology is similar to embracing new teaching methods, new ways of thinking, and fresh ideas. The same methods do not work for incoming students every single year. I feel that teachers who cannot embrace technology are the probably those are ignored by their students.

    I did feel that the original post was quite harsh, but, computers have been commonplace for 15 years. They have used nearly identical software for most of that time. Of course new things come out and we have to learn them, but part of becoming an educator is acknowledging that learning is a lifelong process.

    - Michael G.

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  163. As a preservice teacher, I'm slowly becoming accustomed to the notion of technological literacy. I'm currently a graduate student in the ProTeach program at the University of Florida and am taking a "technology in the classroom" course. I've noticed that this particular program STRONGLY stresses the importance of being technologically literate. With that basis, I loved reading through this blog and its comments and have finally begun to understand the weight this "controversy" holds. While, like many of the commenters, I am not sure I can fully agree with your statement, I think it is critical for teachers to be up-to-date on what their students are using/doing everyday. Technology is advancing so exponentially, it is impossible to think that we as teachers are capable of producing knowledgeable, effective citizens if we are not competent within our current "digital" society.

    -Elizabeth J.

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  164. I enjoyed reading your take on technological literacy amongst teachers, and for the most part, I couldn’t agree more. Times are changing at a rapid rate and it is our jobs as teachers to keep up to pace with current trends and institutions. It seems like every day a new “technological break through” occurs. I am currently a 22 year- old student teacher, and when analyzing my own adolescent years, I can vividly recall numerous and rapid technological changes. My family and I used to go to Blockbuster to rent a VHS, and in what seemed like a blink of an eye, to rent a DVD. I eventually jumped on the Netflix trend and conveniently ordered my movies on the Internet to avoid the lines, or even worse, to avoid a movie being sold out. (Or simply because I was lazy.) Now I download my movies straight to my computer and watch them on the spot. (Not just any movie either, high quality HD of course.) I can’t even begin to imagine how my kids are going to access Hollywood, or what kind of quality/experience they will be able to have. In all honesty, I can’t even begin to imagine how I will access Hollywood within the next couple of years!

    Anyway…

    “You need to demonstrate continual learning, lifelong learning – for your students, or you will continue to teach your students how to be successful in an age that no longer exists.”

    …We are already living and thriving in a new age; the shift towards technology not only brings new vast communication/research/resource/expedience opportunities, but it also brings along new dilemmas, dangers, and dire consequences. A whole new world of student/child protection needs to be instituted. Thus, as teachers, it is our responsibility to teach/introduce/expand the technological literacy of students not only for their civil and professional benefit, but for their safety as well.

    Thanks for shedding some light on the issue.

    Allison T.

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  165. Wow that is a very bold statement. However, I completely agree. If we are going to expect our future businesspersons, doctors, lawyers,educators, and political figures to be technologically savvy then we would be doing a major disservice to the students of teachers unwilling to change their ways. Technology has transformed the entire world and can only create a more salubrious learning environment for our 21st century learners. Jeremy C.

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  166. I definitely agree that in this day and age it is extremely important for teachers to be technologically oriented! I am afraid of overusing technology in the classroom, but feel that it is my job as a teacher to expose my students to the technology that is available. I am jealous that students today have so many creative and useful tools at their fingertips. I hope that I am able to learn enough to help them to further their education of technology in order to better their future. The world today is very technologically advanced and I feel that we as teachers are hindering our students if we do not expose them to the resources out there. I feel that there is a fine line between overusing technology in the classroom and implementing it just the right amount.
    -Elizabeth H.

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  167. The days of ignoring progress have come to an end. Teachers are no longer purely white females teaching in one building classrooms containing all grades. We have learned new strategies of teaching students, and technology is just another proponent of education progression. Yet it is met with much haste and scorn. People inherently fear what they don't understand, and technology is just another example of that.

    Teachers who refuse to get with the times and evolve should be forced to leave the classroom. We aren't relying soley on pencil and paper anymore. Teachers take a vow to teach the optimal manner in which it serves their students, and by ignoring technology they break this vow. Oust the technological illiterates, I say!!

    -Josh C., soon to be Teacher

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  168. Wow. So many opinions, so much to think about. That's what makes learning fun! I have really enjoyed this post and all the discussion it has sparked. I have to say, for the most part, I agree with you. It's hard to imagine firing someone because they are not TL, but, if they are unwilling to learn, what other choice do we have? We have to do what is best for the students. They are the reason we are (or are going to be) teachers in the first place.

    I am another of the many University of South Alabama students in Dr. Strange's class assigned to read this post. I can't wait to explore the Fischbowl and see what else goes on in that mind of yours. Thanks.

    India Munden
    http://mundeniedm310fall2009.blogspot.com/

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  169. I completely agree with your statement that teachers need to be technologically literate, and not just in simple Word tasks, but other in-depth tasks as well. My main argument for it continues to be that the current young generation has known computers and technology their entire life. These kids have been on Facebook and playing Playstations for as long as they can remember. They don't remember a time when technology didn't run everyone's lives. We have to adapt to them if we as educators want to get through to them. With the sudden rise in popularity of Twitter especially, kids' attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, where they get bored of something if it's not conveyed to them in 160 characters or less. We have to embrace this technology and run with it. They'll run with you, too, since finally education could be made more than just dusty books. Plus, if medicine is advancing and business is advancing with technology and new, innovative ways to do things, then why is education still doing the same thing it has been for the last 200 years?? If we can give kids a visual, give them a chance to communicate easily, make the information easily attainable, then we have to do it, and we have to do it soon.

    -Jeff O.

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  170. Karl,

    First off, thanks for this thoughtful and inspiring post. I had one of those "Yes!" moments -- you know, when you read something that you've thought and felt and it just resounds so truly, you want to jump up and yell, "YES!"

    One question for you. How might this expectation of technological literacy differently (if not adversely) effect teachers or communities who have, historically, had less access to new technologies?

    I'm (another) one of Dr. Strange's students and you can view my blog for that course at http://polchowhedm310fall2009.blogspot.com/

    Thanks again!

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  171. Mr. Fisch. My name is Ryan Rogers. I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am reading this blog post as an assignment for Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. I was absolutely amazed by your post! It was very direct. And it should be. Thank you for putting all aspects of technology and teaching into perspective! You may read my full response to this post on my blog at: http://rogersredm310fall2009.blogspot.com/

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  172. Hi Mr. Fisch, My name is Lindsay Sanders and I'm currently a junior a the University of South Alabama and I am majoring in Elementary Education. I've read your blog post as a requirement for my EDM 310 class with Dr. Strange. I thought you were really insightful. I completely agree with your post! I just really want to thank you for putting your point of view out there, because your point of view is incredible! If you'd wish to contact me, please do so through my blog.
    http://sandersledm310fall2009.blogspot.com/

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  173. Hello Mr Fisch,
    My name is Jamie and I read your opinion of illiterate teachers in my class at York College of Pennsylvania. In three years I plan to be a successful history teacher and one of your comments opened my eyes. We are teaching the children on the future! And we need to prepare them for the future which is becoming more and more technologically based. Back up education is out-of-date and will be useless by the time I am out of college. That is why being a technologically literate teacher is so important. Thank you for your time.

    Jamie from YCP

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  174. My name is Ashley, I was assigned your article by my Instructional technology teacher, Professor Ehrhart. I completely agree with you, I think all teachers should know something about technology, It is very simple to figure out even if you haven't grown up with it. A teacher who doesn't incorporate some kind of technology into their lessons is as interesting as watching paint dry and the fact is that no one is going to listen or care what they have to say. Educators need to be able to use technology in their teaching because today's generation was built around technology and they work best when learning through technology. Teachers who don't know anything about technology blame it on the students and say that we just don't care, when really the problem is them. We care, the teacher just needs to inform us in a way that is interesting to us.

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  175. Hi Mr. Fisch,
    My name is Katie and I am also a member of the Instructional Technology class at York College with Professor Ehrhart. I read your blog and felt relieved! I no longer feel like i am the only one out there with the idea that in order to teach something, you must know how to do it yourself. I teach dance and i know that it is vital to personally know how to execute a step properly before modeling it for the students and having them demonstrate it with the same proficiency. I struggle when i am in a class with teachers who have the intention of incorporating technology into their lesson plans but then can not do what they were trying to do. I have one teacher in particular who doesn't use anything that's wireless so they have 5 cords (not an exaggeration) going from wall jack to lap top to overhead projector to outlet and even that gets frustrating. (not to mention i feel that it's a fire hazard!) When a teacher struggles through their lesson clicking and trying various things they are wasting the students valuable learning time. In the 5 minutes that it takes for the teacher to figure out what is going wrong they have lost the student's attention and unfortunately it may not return for the rest of the class period. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. Thank you so much for your time.

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  176. Mr. Fisch,
    My name is Kelly and I also am from the Instructional Technology class of York College. I agree on many points you made throughout your blog post. Mainly, I think that your list is extremely accurate and if I were to write one myself, it would be probably be very similar. I think that those people who have a higher authority in schools should push the role of technology being used in classrooms. If they are not enforcing it to be used, then many teachers aren't going to make the effort. I also think that the comments you made about how a teacher being techonological illiterate is just as bad as a teacher not being able to read or write 30 years ago. Many students already know and use technology on a daily basis. If that is something that can keep students more focused and interested, then teachers should incorporate that into their lesson plans. It's also important for a teacher to know how to use such inventions in case a student would use something and have a problem. Then the teacher would know what they were talking about and could help the student in figuring out a solution. Technology is a necessity in today's society, and our educators should be using it to their fullest advantage in order to benefit their students. Thank you for your time and great thoughts!

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  177. My name is Jess and I am currently a student at York College of Pennsylvania. I am in Professor Ehrhart's ED200 Instructional Technology course. I just read your blog and I completely agree that teachers need to be technologically literate. If universities and colleges are not educating students about technology, they are doing a disservice to the students. Also technology has made extreme advancements in the past couple years. Children now spend a large part of their day using some type of technology. Technology is a great tool to capture the attention of students. Technology can get students interested in learning and if the teacher knows how to properly use technology tools, then the students will be more likely to succeed in a world of growing technology. Thank you very much for your time and insight. Your thoughts have obviously made an impact on people throughout the country.

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  178. Joe said...

    Karl,

    I am currently in my third semester at York College of Pennsylvania and I am taking a technology class geared for future teachers, and to be honest I am struggling in the class. I understand how technology is getting more and more advanced and that teachers should be up to date with it. However, I sometimes feel it is not as important as you and other people believe. I have gone through years of schooling now, and this class is the first time I ever had to use any sort of technology besides "word" and the Internet. I also want to bring up the fact that in in the other 5 classes I am taking at York College, neither the professor or I use any other form of technology except word, powerpoint and the internet.

    Thank you
    -Joe

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  179. Mr. Fisch,
    My name is Kylee, and I am also a student at York College of Pennsylvania. I think the most interesting aspect of this post was the parallels you made between people who would say "I'm not good at Math" (which is in many aspects deemed socially acceptable) versus "I cannot read" (which is unacceptable).
    Being Technologically Illiterate is still, in many ways, socially acceptable. I was actually reading a Sports Illustrated article today about professional football players using Twitter. The article stated what team policies were being put into practice to curb or encourage the athletes from sending out Tweets. The one coach made a comment that he didn't even know what Twitter was in a humorous manner. He knew that he could make a public statement like this and wouldn't have to fear any negative effects of not knowing about one of the most popular social networking sites of today.
    Interesting and entertaining post. Thank you!

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  180. As a student at York College of Pennsylvania, I am taking an Instructional Technology course. My name is Tim and my intent is to be a high school English teacher after graduation, therefore, the question you posed is of particular interest to me. What stands out from your post is the important acknowledgment that technology predicates how we communicate today. As a future English teacher, I must be able to teach my students across all methods of communication. I can't pick and choose speech and writing because that's what has been done before. It's my job to prepare the students for the world in which we live today and prepare them for what the world will hold for them in their lifetime as best I can. A strong focus on technology is the only way to achieve that.
    I appreciated your recogniion of the short time students are under our guidance. Four years goes by fairly quickly. I emphatically agree that it is not fair to students if educators use the excuse that they are too busy to learn new technology. If they are too busy today, they will forever be too busy. We teach our students not to procrastinate. We teach our students to prioritize and learn to balance their various coursework with extracurriculars, etc. Why should they expect any less of us?
    Thanks for your thoughts and here's to a future of technologically literate educators!
    Tim

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  181. Another York COllege of Pennsylvania student here. While I agree that if an instructor doesn't know the technology that they should, especially when we are asked to, it is a little disappointing. Though I don't know that I would expect or require them to understand the technology that our generation does, because that could require such a paradigm shift from some... It is certainly helpful for instructors to be "on the level" with us, I don't think it is necessary, and I don't think it "borders on malpractice." I can learn without accommodating all my generation specific requirements, but it is easier if you do so.

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  182. I am also a student at York College. My name is Laura and I want to be an elementary school teacher. Although I agree technology is very helpful and should be used in the classroom, I do not think it is absolutely necessary. In all the years I have been in school my teachers have never used a lot of technology, just the usual powerpoint and word. On the other hand, my younger brother is a sophomore in high school and I have already seen more technology and internet projects being used. I think that while technology will obviously be included more and more in education it will not make someone a good or bad teacher. Technology is only helpful if it is used right.

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  183. This is Liz from York College and I'm an Elementary Ed. major. This blog, I think, is what more and more people need to be thinking about. While being technologically illiterate does not mean that you're a bad teacher, it does present problems. On several occasions I have heard, or seen written, that students are being prepared for jobs that don't yet exist, because of the rapid increase of technology. I agree with this statement, therefore, when teachers don't expose and educate their students on the uses of today's technology they can't be properly preparing their students for the future. I'm not saying that students should be immersed in technology 24/7, but that they should have a thorough knowledge of how to use different technologies and the benefits of them. With a thorough knowledge, students, as well as teachers, won't be as overwhelmed as new technologies are invented or old ones are upgraded. So in the end: TECHNOLOGY = GOOD.

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  184. Hey,
    This is Jon, a York College student persueing a degree in secondary english education. I would like to say I agree with the article but, what are we defining as technologically illeterate? I'm assuming you are refering to Web 2.0 cites and creating social networks for your students? (This is what I would say makes your article true) I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed your posting and if you ever have any ideas about implimenting technology into an english class let me know. I have a few myself that could probably use some troubleshooting

    Jon
    jhopkin2@ycp.edu

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  185. Mr. Fisch,

    I am a student at York College of PA majoring in education, and I am currently in a course called Instructional Technology. I believe that this course should be required for any teacher that, because I agree with you; teachers should NOT be technologically illiterate. I feel that a student with a technologically illiterate teacher is disadvantaged, because the teacher isn't speaking their language. Teachers need to shift with the world, and technology is changing everything. How often do they bring up technology in education at teachers conventions, workshops, and things like that?

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  186. @Laura and @Joe - I find it interesting that part of your argument is that because you have teachers/professors that haven't/aren't using technology that it would be okay for you as teachers not to use technology. It seems to me that you could make a similar argument (if the following happened to be true): "I've had crappy teachers my whole life, so I think I'll be a crappy teacher."

    @everyone - Thanks again for all the comments. One thing I would ask you to do is to think beyond "Word" or "PowerPoint." That's not at all what I and the other folks discussing this are referring to when we talk about technological literacy and the necessity of using it in teaching and learning today. It's impossible to sum that up briefly so, as I think I said somewhere before in this comment stream, all you have to do is read the last 3-4 years of my blog and you'll be caught up on what we're talking about :-).

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  187. Karl,
    I am a student at York College and am currently taking a class teaching us how to use technology in the classroom. I agree with you that teachers should be technologically literate. If they are teaching the next generation, they should at least know what this generation experiences.

    I also believe that administrators should be held responsible for teachers that do not understand technology, and if they themselves are technologically illiterate they should not be in that position. Teachers should not be hired if they are not proficient enough with technology- it is important in every day life and to undermine its importance is ridiculous.

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  188. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  189. My name is Mouk and I am also a student at York College. After reading your blog, it got me thinking about being technologically illiterate. How do you define technologically illiterate? Would a teacher who is only able to use simple programs such as powerpoint be technoligcially litterate or would they have to be able to do more such as using wikis and blogs? Do teachers even need to be litterate in technology? After observing several classrooms, I have noticed that teachers that are not using technology are getting their students to be active, participate, and be creative.

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  190. My name is Cheryl and I am also a student at York College. I agree with you that it is important for educators to be technologically literate. I think that, especially with older educators, it should not fall solely on the educator to become technologically literate. Programs are difficult to follow for those that do not know the techno lingo (my mother for example did not grow up with computers and she always needs someone to help her with new programs, she's very unsure of herself. I think a support system needs to be set up to help people because technologically literate. It is not simply learning to use the programs, but developing confidence on the computer that needs to be addressed. If an educator is not proficient and confident with the technology the results can be disastrous and more detrimental to the students than a lack of technology. The educators need a course or seminar on new technology and how to use them, possibly every year. This would solve the problem without putting a massive amount of pressure on the already overloaded teacher.

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  191. My name is Briana and I am a student at York College. I completely agree that teachers should be required to be technologically literate, and I do agree that a lot of them do not and feel that it is important. I also, however feel that the administrators at the schools are somewhat to blame. The should require their teachers to work on their technology skills, and require them to learn a certain amount every year. They need to help stress the importance of it to the teachers!

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  192. It's great to see this post staying alive... it's an important discussion. I believe the true "tech reluctant" teacher is less common than we assume. To me, it's a matter of leadership and of course system design. Schools need to be set up to use technology well, and staff need to be told what to do specifically (not just that they should, but exactly what they should be doing, as you would with employees in any other industry.) I know many teachers who are quite savvy outside the classroom, but they use ICT less often when teaching for a variety of reasons: It doesn't work well, there is no technical help, they are not rewarded or even instructed what to do, etc. I think it is a crisis for school leaders: http://edtech-nohype.blogspot.com/2007/10/leaders-are-barrier-to-integration.html and also a crisis in professional development: http://edtech-nohype.blogspot.com/2006/11/staff-development-heresy_26.html

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  193. Hi Mr Fisch-
    I'm a student in Dr. Stange's EDM 310 class, and I just read your post as a required assignment. First, I would like to thank you for sharing your view. As teachers, we are obligated to arm our student with the appropriate tools necessary to succeed. I'm certain that one of those tools is technology literacy. If we as teachers cannot navigate around the Internet and prepare the applicable lessons for our students, then how do we expect them to make use of the additional information we provide them?
    Thank you again for sharing you views.
    -May
    http://laughtonmedm310fall2009.blogspot.com/

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  194. Mr. Fisch,
    I am from the Tech Ed class of YCP. I agree with you 100% that teachers must be technology literate. I think that this is a big step for the teachers that already exist and not so much for the teachers to be. This is just a fact of life--you have to roll with the punches and take life as it comes. Things change drastically throughout the life of an individual and technology is becoming more and more part of this life. I agree with you when you say that students aren't going to wait around for teachers to learn how to use technology. We only do have four years in high school and I think most kids take it for granted. They don't care what they learn they just want to get through it. I graduated tenth in my class and loved school yet I still did the same thing. I focused more on getting through the material than actually trying to retain the information. I think that if it would have been presented more efficiently and to our generation it might not have been or will be like that. We are always told that middle school is supposed to prepare you for high school and high school is supposed to prepare you for college. I don't think either of these things prepare anyone for anything. I was completely lost when I went to college with most of my classes having things posted online or online quizzes or homework. None of this happened in high school and it was really hard for me to adapt. I think that technology needs to be a big part of secondary education so that college won't be such a different atmosphere. I think that you are completely right saying that a teacher who can't use technology today is like a teacher who couldn't read or write thirty years ago. How can you teach what you don't know? You can't and it's impossible to relate to the generations if you can't. Thank you so much for your time and your incredible thoughts!
    Jess M. from YCP

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  195. Hi my name is Katherine Duren and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us. You can visit my blog at http://durenkedm310fall2009.blogspot.com/

    Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class

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  196. Hi my name is Erica Burrell and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. I am reading your post as a required assignment. I agree with most of your comments. I will be sure to take those concepts into consideration as I am learning more about technology each day. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us. You can visit my blog at http://burrelleedm310fall2009.blogspot.com/

    Thanks,
    Erica

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  197. This was a very thought-provoking post. I read it for my EDM310 assignment at the University of South Alabama. I completely agree with comparing being technologically illiterate to not being able to read or write. It creates similar handicaps. You can read further comments on my blog:
    http://locklinrachaeledm310.blogspot.com

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  198. I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. Although your blog was written in a moment of frustration, I think that you spoke fairly. Technology is advancing and it is a useful and necessary tool and teachers need to change their mindsets about it. Teachers should be more willing to meet their students with mediums they will understand and will need to make use of in their future careers. I had to write a blog about my reactions:
    http://warnbergcaitlynedm310.blogspot.com/
    You can also twitter me: caitlynwarnberg

    Thank you for your time.

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  199. I really enjoyed your post. It was very thought-provoking. I agree with the comments about it not being "cool" to be illiterate about technology. I do believe teachers need a lot of knowledge on technology to help their students be prepared for the future. There are other comments on my blog
    southbrittanyedm310.blogspot.com

    Thanks for your information.

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