Dave Warlick points to a study that shows that more teachers are starting to use technology in their teaching. Ironically, not once in the article are the words “learn” or “learning” mentioned in the context of teachers or students. Why?
What difference, really, does the infusion of technology into the classroom have if the teachers who use it don’t have a context for learning with it? My guess is that most of what’s happening in schools right now is what Alan November calls “automating,” taking the stuff we used to do on paper and digitizing it in some way without any real change in the pedagogy or in the understanding of what the learning potentials are. I mean, take PowerPoint as an example. If you use PowerPoint, technically you’re using technology. But most of the uses of PowerPoint that I’ve seen in schools have nothing to do with learning. Nothing. In fact I still have a hard time believing how much of what is presented at the technology conferences I go to has nothing to do with helping those in the room become more effective, lifelong learners. It’s all about doing.
At least three-fourths of teachers surveyed recognized the importance of computer technology in teacher-related functions such as attendance-taking and record-keeping (86 percent), communication (83 percent), research and planning (79 percent), and classroom instruction (77 percent).
That doesn’t really get to it, does it? We have to stop focusing on what teachers are doing with technology and start focusing on how they are learning with it.