Fair Warning for Technophilic Educators

Much thanks to my friend and colleague, the Literate Owl, for stirring up some timely Monday morning energy with this article from Jamie McKenzie.

I resonated with Jamie’s comment that while a sort of technophilia has inundated our schools and education system, the simple fact remains…it never really helps educators address the important associated skill necessary to survive (nee thrive): critical thinking skills.

I see technology as a way to engage students and to develop a collaborative approach to learning as it begin to eclipse the ‘sage on stage’ orientation that has dominated education for over a hundred years. But, no doubt what is missing is the teaching and practicing of critical thinking skills.

Pro-D. I also resonated with his belief that our societal buy-in of the gimmckry of flash and dash of technology is “short-changing the professional development that might translate those investments into actual student growth.” Teachers continue to get left further behind without adequate support and time to learn and develop their skills. I see this as a two-way street: teachers must want to learn and attempt to do so regardless of the economic situation and whether or not they receive time and compensation–it has to be a choice; by the same token, our schools and school districts neither support nor promote teacher develop in this regard.

Deep Web and Electronic Databases the underused resource. McKenzie’s thoughts about the ‘Deep Web’ are well founded, but not surprising. As the teacher-librarian, I need to do a much better job about driving traffic to this tremendously powerful information resource. There is a huge assumption on the part of teachers that the students know how to do research. But, they don’t. And while I feel it my job and responsibility to support teachers, personally I am not at that point (but getting there) where I have to be far more aggressive about my approach to reaching student and their teachers about the power that is un-Google.

One of my professional development goals for the coming year: How do I go about educating a community of over 800? Video? Tutorial? What will work? What will be effective? Better yet, how will I know what I use will be effective and be measurable? Hmmmm…

I love a challenge.

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