21st Century Learning: Letter to my Colleagues

I am often asked as I travel to various places to present why I would spend so much time talking about technology knowing that with outsourcing and such that I am undermining job security in that computers could replace teachers. To that I respond,  If you can be replaced by a computer then you probably should be! The truth is that technology will never replace teachers, however teachers who know how to use technology effectively to help their students connect and collaborate together online will replace those who do not.

It was George Burns who said “I look to the future, because that is where I am going to spend the rest of my life.” Simple yet profound. (o.k. I am easily impressed) We have a wonderful opportunity to embrace the future, I fear that we will miss it longing to hold on to what we already know and feel comfortable with. We ask our students to step out of their comfort zones and grow every day. Should we not have that same expectation of ourselves? We have learning goals for our students. We must also have them for ourselves. What did you learn at school today? If you say nothing, It is a good bet your students will say the same!

Posted via web from phsprincipal’s posterous

2 thoughts on “21st Century Learning: Letter to my Colleagues

  1. My personal goals for my students vary with the level of courses I teach. For example, in my beginning level Algebra classes, I want them to master the basics of Algebra. Not because they need that skill later in life, but they need those skills so they can survive the math courses they must take in high school to graduate. In my geometry classes – which is a college prep class – I want my students to learn how to get information out of text, process it, and apply it to the problems that they have to do. They may never go on to use any of the information that they've learned in Geometry, but they do need to know how to do those things.

    In other words, I know what I want my students to learn while they are in my classroom. However, I'm not sure what it is that I'm supposed to learn as a teacher. Perhaps you could tell me. What is it that I should be learning while I'm at school?

    ps) Typing is my least favorite ways to communicate. The problem is that there is no inflection in my words, or there is no body language to accompany what I'm trying to say. When I say, "Perhaps you could tell me. What is it that I should be learning while I'm at school?" it should not be read as a defiant statement of disbelief, or a challenge to prove me wrong. It is simply a question.

  2. Mr. T,

    I think when we learn, we may not even realize it. We aren't learning new concepts or information the way our students are; instead, we are learning through our experiences as educators. What works? What doesn't work? We learn about our students and what motivates them or inspires them. We learn to be more efficient with our time in order to put any surplus of energy into finding ways to teach better. I know you do this because I read your blog. You are constantly seeking and experimenting with new ways of reaching your students.

    That is my two cents anyway.

Leave a Reply