No Teacher Left Behind

Darren Draper had an interesting and thought provoking post Monday, which is no surprise from Darren.  In “No Teacher Left Behind?,” Darren began by noting that he believed the positive message David Truss had posted in “Who Are the People In Your Neighborhood?“, but then asked if:

  • In spending so much time to create (shallow?) connections with such a wide range of educators on a global level, isn’t it possible that one might also neglect local relationships that are equally (if not more) important?
  • What can we do to consistently maintain a healthy perspective?

Shifting gears to a higher plane:

  • Do we really think that all teachers need to be this connected?
  • Can every teacher (human being) handle all of the information? Are they “bad teachers” if they can’t?
  • And what about those teachers that take 25 minutes just to create a Gmail account? Will it really be worth my time – and theirs – to help them enter the 21st Century? Or are the benefits of such efforts simply not worth the costs?

I guess what I’m really wondering is this:

  • Is it ever OK to simply leave some teachers behind?

He DID note that he was tired as he posted these questions!  🙂

I think many of us that work with faculty wonder some times if it is okay to simply leave some teachers behind.  However, let me suggest an alternative view.  I have been excited this week as my online class of graduate students – all older K-12 teachers and many self-labeled technologically-challenged, began to submit their projects on Web 2.0 tools.  My 21 students have each taken a different tool, explored it, and then begun to share their exploration with their fellow students in ways that reinforce Web 2.0.  So I am starting to see teachers who had never ventured beyond Powerpoint suddenly using some of the tools CogDog lists in his 50+ Ways to Tell a Story.  I am finding new tools that I have never seen before, such as RockYou.Com, which allows someone who has never published multimedia before to mix photos, effects, and music in compelling ways.  SlideShare, Camtasia and Jing are being used.

It is early yet, and only a quarter of my students have posted so far, but I am excited by what I have seen so far.  It reminds me that it is worth the time to get teachers excited about using 21st Century skills!

{Photo Credit: Saffanna, weinnat }

4 comments to No Teacher Left Behind

  1. Gabriela says:

    Hi Britt!

    being across the ocean I have to say it’s worth for all teachers being connected. Connections on a global level made me to want to be a better teacher.

    More, I received a valuable help from A-list educators (otherwise I never dreamed it would be possible) for my personal development.

    And I’m definitely one of the teachers that can’t handle with today sea of information. But I am an optimistic human being and I hope every teacher who spent more than 25 min. with a Gmail account (this is so frequent here in Romania) will understand the importance of an XXI’s century education.

  2. drapestakes says:

    I think Gabriela has summarized my feelings well:

    > And I’m definitely one of the teachers that can’t handle with today sea of information. But I am an optimistic human being and I hope every teacher who spent more than 25 min. with a Gmail account (this is so frequent here in Romania) will understand the importance of an XXI’s century education.

    It’s always nice to see that we’re all in the same boat together.

  3. Britt says:

    Darren (and Gabriela):

    Could not agree more! Thanks for your comments!

  4. Ken Allan says:

    Kia ora Britt!

    We are living in fantasy times. Now more than ever!

    Obe-Wan Kenobi has been and gone. But his like have left a legacy of a belief in super-human power that can be tapped by bringers of peace, skills and knowledge.

    Today’s technology touches the Obe-Wan of last century. It brings a belief that, perhaps, teachers may be able to invoke, through their position, the ‘Power of the Force’ through technology.

    Some, like celebrated Olympic athletes, actually manage to achieve a semblance of this in their careers. They are the heroes, who not only can tap ‘the Force’ but can also ward off the vagaries of the Tusken Raiders.

    Not all teachers have the gift, however, and have to impress, as C-3PO attempted, sometimes with faltering success.

    Ka kite
    from Middle-earth

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