Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Who teaches preservice teachers technology?

I'm teaching a methods course for middle and high school preservice teachers. I went to an area school, mostly rural, and observed one of my students teaching an English IV class. It's a brand new school, and it looks like a huge hotel.

The teacher had this beautiful LCD projector (is that what's it called) hanging from the ceiling and a beautiful white screen in the front. Computers lined the sides of the room. I was so envious. I remember how I got computers in my room. I heard the business classes were getting new computers, and I spent hours after school negotiating to take some of their old ones (really old ones) and then filling out the serial numbers on the paperwork to be able to transfer them to my room. Then I started haggling with other teachers to get tables from their rooms. Then there was the begging I did to get chairs to go with the tables. I have no idea where I found the energy. We didn't have the Internet though. We used the computers for our writing workshop, and I brought in our mobile laptop computer lab for the internet. In a school of 2000 students and I don't know how many teachers, I was one of about two who used that lab on a regular basis.

Here's my point: The student didn't even consider using any of that technology. They take some technology class from Education, and I'm not sure what they learn. I asked if she thought about using it, and she said no.

I had given the class a "thought for the day" at the end of class on Monday night about taking risks. Here they have this great opportunity to teach and practice their teaching. Even after all of our talk I sometimes find they lecture. They talk, talk, talk, and don't show the students how to do anything. I know they are learning and it takes practice. The main point is we have to show new teachers (these 20 some years olds who have lived technology) how to use this stuff and become a part of this Web 2.0.

1 comment:

TERRY said...

The story about snagging computers is so true. I worked hard to get my class lab, lots of horse trading. When I moved on to teach at the University all my hard won work went down the drain. No one followed up on what I had done.

I think that a parallel learning system is growing up out of Web 2.x. Of course our ed schools are for the most part programming its students for future irrelevance. Our current system is such an incredible waste, but it cannot die until people recognize the new "learning ecosystem". When that happens, mark my word, it will happen like a ginko tree drops its leaves--overnight.
You are on the right track (not the old curricular track, but the new, unseen one, and I look forward to reading more of your discoveries.