Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Responsible 21st Century Teacher

David Jakes asked the question back in 2006, "...can you be a good teacher without using technology?" in his post On Being Good. After numerous recent posts about professional learning with regard to technology (Will Richardson's , Ryan Bretag's, etc.) David's question keeps coming back to me.

As we all know, there are those out there who say things to the effect of "You should be blogging in your classroom!", "You are blowing it if you're not using Google Docs.", etc. In our district, we are trying very hard to pull away from looking at educational technology as a collection of tools and redirecting people's vision of educational technology as a way to serve learning and teaching goals. If someone comes to me and says "I want my students to blog" my first question will always be "Why?" I have almost as many people wanting to use technology to no purpose as I do people who won't investigate technology as a resource.

And that's where my answer to David's question comes in. The root of the matter is that every responsible, professional teacher in the 21st century must investigate available resources that will serve his or her students. We have truly remarkable teachers in our district; it is the responsibility of each of those remarkable teachers to continue their learning, to seek ways to better meet their goals or accomplish goals that were impossible before. They may or may not find anything but the search is critical.