Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Do adults meet the NETS standards to the same degree that students do?

Technology is improving the teaching and learning that is going on in our classrooms.  Students have seen huge benefits from using technology.  But has technology changed anything meaningful in the ways the adults interact with each other?  Teachers are flipping their classrooms, but few adults have flipped their committee meetings.  Students send direct messages when they see each other online, while adults send an email and then wait (and wait and wait) for a response.  Students collaborate on their projects online, but few adults use shared documents to store files or work together.  In fact, if you look at all of the NETS-S technology standards for students, I would say adults are great at helping kids meet the standards but they do not know how to apply those same standards to their own work with their colleagues.

Individual teachers can often meet the standards (communication, collaboration, creativity, and problem-solving are among them) on their own, especially when they begin to connect to like-minded teachers across the country through Google+ or Twitter or when they simply meet each other at the tech conference like ISTE.  Small groups of teachers in the same school can be successful because they are able to seek each other out and form small technology-rich teams even when they do not work in the same grade level or department.  But on the whole, as an entire school, we fail miserably at creating a connected, creative environment. The students always seem one step ahead of us, and until we begin to live up to the same standards as an entire organization then they always will be ahead of us.

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