Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Little Too Strong Methinks

I just came across a blog post titled Rite of Refusal written by Scott McLeod.
can anyone else think of an employment sector other than K-12 and postsecondary education where employees have the right to refuse to use technology?

He raises an interesting point but he comes on a little too strong.
a grocery store checker doesn't get to say 'No thanks, I don't think I'll
use a register.' A stockbroker doesn't get to say, 'No thanks, I don't think
I'll use a computer.' An architect doesn't get to say, 'No thanks, I don't
think I'll use AutoCAD.' But in education, we plead and implore and
incentivize but we never seem to require.

Actually, I think that he is wrong here. What did those industries look like when the new technologies first came out? When AutoCAD first came out I bet that not everybody jumped on the bandwagon right away. At first only the progressive architects and engineers used it. Then slowly as it was proven to be useful more groups started drafting with CAD programs. Now, 26 years later everybody uses it. 26 years! How long has the internet been a major presence in our schools? Long enough that some teachers should be using Web 2.0 tools to teach but not everyone has tried it. Give it time and don't force it.

Teaching involves a very wide range of styles, methods, and tools. It also involves a certain amount of autonomy in our classrooms. I like being able to pick and choose what ways I teach and what tools I use to teach with. That way I can fit the curriculum content in best with my strengths and with how I feel my students will learn best. I am quite sure that other teachers do the same. Technology or no technology, student learning comes first. Sometimes a wiki is the best tool sometimes a chalkboard is. Please count on me to choose wisely.

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