You Don’t Have To Like It

I just read a post on a mailing list where the topic touched on teachers that struggle with technology.  The phrase that really got me going was something about making allowances for teachers who don’t like or understand technology (whether they are new grads or close to retirement) and how this is all a bit hard for them. This is something I feel really passionate about so I have to say it…

Technology in schools is NOT a new thing.

I just cannot accept excuses about technology being optional, whether it’s from someone who is new to teaching or others who are close to retirement. There are children in those classrooms every day who deserve the best education we can offer them, and it is completely unfair if that education is less than it should be because someone wants to pick and choose which aspects of their job they feel are important.  No child should have to put up with out of date learning experience just because their close-to-retirement teacher is “taxiing to the hangar”.

Computers started appearing in classrooms back when I was still at teachers college more than 25 years ago. There has been an expectation from EVERY school, school system and government policy that I’ve worked under in the past 20 years to embed and integrate technology into the education process.  Using technology in the learning process, and having some understanding of it and what it enables our students to do, is NOT something that was dreamed up in the last few months, or that appeared suddenly with the DER/BER/<insert acronomyn here>.

I’m so tired of having the integration of technology into learning overlooked because it’s “too hard”. As educators – actual professional educators, who actually go into classrooms every day and teach for a living – we do NOT have the luxury of choosing whether we should be integrating technology, or whether we want to learn more about it, or whether we think it’s relevant to the learning process.  It is, it’s part of the job and if people don’t think so, then they ought to be getting a copy of the Saturday paper and looking for a something else to do where they CAN be selective about what part of the job they are willing to take seriously without it impacting on our future generations.

Your government, your state, your diocese, your school system, your school, have all been mandating this technology integration requirement for at least 20 years that I’m aware of. Every school I’ve ever worked for has dedicated many hours and dollars to providing professional development, training, resources and equipment to make it happen.  The fact that we are STILL having this conversation about teaching professionals who are not up to speed with this stuff after all this time is downright embarrassing to the profession.

It makes me crazy when I hear people talking about using technology in the classroom as  being “hard”, as though it’s also optional.  Every job has hard bits, but if they are part of the job, you just learn to do them.

You don’t have to like it, you just have to do it.

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57 thoughts on “You Don’t Have To Like It

  1.  Hear, hear! In any other profession, those employees aren’t expected to not learn a new method or use a new tool because they “don’t understand it.” Could you imagine if surgeons just “did it the way it’s always been done?” Whether it’s technology, a new curriculum or method, or a collaborative opportunity, we should have a teaching force of professionals who are excited and willing to try out new things as professionals and life-long learners. I know many teachers who feel burnt out and unappreciated and it’s a downward spiral of “Why should I do anything extra– I’m not acknowledged or paid for it?” We should either create an environment where teachers don’t feel that way by overhauling society’s perception of teachers or get folks who are truly passionate in there. Great and thought-provoking article, Chris!

  2. I agree with everything that you have said Chris. I remember discussing this with a friend a while back and he said “I hope the Pilot on my next flight has kept up to date with new technologies” yet many teachers don’t see that they need to. It is frustrating that so many teachers, young and old seem to feel the excuse “I don’t get technology” is an appropriate out for not continuing to learn and develop their knowledge.

  3. I recently spent a whole day working 1:1 with an experienced teacher who had been hired to work in a nearby school but had never “had the opportunity to use technology”. Hello- I have to teach you EMAIL? In the process of carrying out this very expensive exercise I did discover that in previous schools the opportunity had been there but had been resisted – you are not surprised, I know.  And as I tried to pack 20 years into one day, I thought about all the other teachers who were not getting their PD hour (in groups) today because, in the past, this person had had the luxury of picking and choosing which part of the learning process they were going to ignore while their colleagues got on with it.

  4. I totally agree with you!–” you don’t have to like it, you just have to do it “.  Fortunately for me, I like it (technology) very much and I do it a lot! HAHA.  I am thinking about the writing PD that I went to recently.  I love the ideas that were given to us but find it hard to find time to fit everything in.  But in the end, I still do it because i have to.  It’s part of my job.

  5. Professionally irresponsible, I agree with you.  A problem I encounter constantly with certain older Principal peoples … :-/
    Have you read this: http://wedontknowhowluckyweare.blogspot.com/2011/04/if-you-expect-pathetic-you-probably.html

  6. Oh, it’s alright for you guys. You understand it. I just don’t get computers. They don’t like me. *principal shrugs shoulders and walks away*

  7. Great post, Chris. And I love the comments from Wendy and Byron. Why do some teachers think that keeping up with professional learning is optional, when they’d be outraged to discover the same attitude in their doctor or a pilot?  I believe some teachers avoid learning about technology for three main reasons: lack of confidence (they’ve had bad experiences in the past so try to avoid the embarrassment of repeating them); they have tried things in the past and the technology has failed (more embarrassment, and a convenient excuse to avoid having to update their skills); and feeling time-poor in a busy, demanding profession.

    Schools can help reluctant teachers overcome these problems in a number of ways. Firstly, administrators must demonstrate that they regard professional learning as essential: schools have to provide time and appropriate guidance to teachers who need to develop ICT skills. We’ve come a little way towards this by having state professional bodies mandating certain types of PD – it’s up to school leaders to make it work, and make it achievable. Secondly, ICT PD needs to be delivered in a way that isn’t humiliating or doesn’t undermine the sense of professionalism of the teacher: i.e. the trainer needs to teach like we’d expect from a good classroom teacher! Thirdly, the infrastructure has to be good enough. No system is perfect, but there should be a reasonable expectation of equipment and networks working most of the time, with timely technical support when it doesn’t. A good ICT leader can often use equipment failure to show colleagues a work-around, or another way of achieving the desired learning outcomes. 

    Unfortunately, a lot of these solutions are a bit utopian: we’re all constrained by funding, time and the skills of administrators, trainers and colleagues. But there is another way to get reluctant staff on-board with technology: motivation. If ICT leaders can find something to attract the interest of their less-technologically experienced colleagues, they are half-way to success. I remember a former colleague whose school-supplied laptop was usually left at home because he didn’t see any use for it. Once he’d discovered podcasts, however, he quickly developed the skills needed use these in his teaching, and whilst he didn’t ever try using an IWB or social tools, his students benefited greatly from the podcasts he played them and referred them to. 

    So Chris, I understand your frustration with teachers who avoid using technology, but try to find that small spark of interest, that tiny window that will open a whole new vista to them and their teaching.

  8. Great post Chris! Although i agree with everything you say I’m not sure it will make a difference in tech integration. My reasoning? I’m not sure that there has been a mandate. I know I sound “old school” but until there are repercussions for not integrating tech I don’t think much will change. Too many schools will not hold teachers truly accountable for learning and using tech in the classroom. In many cases, teachers wear their lack of tech experience as a badge of honor.

    But I suppose every little bit helps and hopefully one day we can look back on your post and have a good laugh!

    1. Yeah, it’s the “I don’t do tech and I’m proud of it” badge of honour you mention that drives me nuts. That’s the attitude that’s completely unacceptable.  I know many teachers who don’t know much about edtech but they are willing to learn… and that’s commendable because it’s ultimately about a willingness to learn.

      I suppose the real issue is not really about whether a teacher is willing to embrace the use of technology, although I happen to think that’s important in and of itself…. the bigger issues is WHY some of those same people resist so hard, and it often comes down to an unwillingness to learn. change and adapt, and THAT is the attitude that is completely unacceptable for an education professional.

      Perhaps it’s just the push to integrate technology that brings these the stink of these other attitudes more clearly to the surface?

  9. I totally agree with you. Imagine the teacher that said “I don’t do English – it’s too hard and i don’t like it” Teachers have used this as a way to avoid having to live up to their tag as professionals for too long. Schools need to have the power to do something about lack of engagement with technology. My 3 year old son recently asked a pre-school teacher where she had hidden the computers and iPads. Her response – “I don’t do technology – it is only a trend.” She then explained to me that trends come and go and her job is to develop children, not to entertain them with expensive toys. My son is no longer excited about going to pre-school next year. (At least with that teacher!)

  10. I agree to an extent, however it’s quality Professional Learning that makes the difference. In my 25+ years experience as a Leader in this area (from a Primary School Perspective), I have come to believe that it’s about ‘whole school vision’ and implementing a vision that is inclusive of technology in everyday curriculum. The benefits of using technology in relation to powerful teaching and learning needs to be modelled, shared and evaluated in the context of your learning environment. This in turn allows one to develop their pedagogy and with a ‘shared pedagogy’, strategic planning in Professional Learning then becomes the focus to drive action.

  11. There WAS a time when you could be a great teacher without using technology… that is no longer true. You are spot-on on this. We need to model learning, re-learning, trying, struggle and accomplishment. We need to be human and teach our learners to appreciate that they are teachers and learners just like us!

    Thank you for your thoughtful and thought-provoking words and ideas.

  12. It’s also the little parts of the school culture that need to integrate technology – why are daily meetings or minutes being passed/read out or put on a whiteboard? Why is it even possible for a teacher to not check their email – it should be a major source of communication. Why don’t schools have blogs or Facebook to communicate with parents?

    And that personal spark is so important – people won’t use things effectively in the class if they aren’t using it themselves. So teachers have to be using it themselves, there is no other option.

  13. Almost 30 years ago, I was teaching kindergarten in a very small private school, and one of the upper grade teachers brought in the “parts” to build a computer.  The 8th graders that year were totally into making this thing work (and at that time, just making it work was a small accomplishment)!  I thought to myself, what a nice thing for this teacher to do; he’d really gotten the kids interested in how something works.  I hope he’s still around when these kindergarteners get to 8th grade, they would enjoy this type of thing.

    Boy was I wrong!  In those intervening years, an explosion in personal computing began.  We soon had nearly 17 computers in the school, all strung together with “phone” cable creating network. Well it DID let us all use the same one dot matrix printer — if the paper didn’t jam. 

    In that same time period a very good friend of mine finished her education degree and got a job teaching 2nd grade in our school.  She was delighted to send the kids off to the “special” technology/library period because it was her ONE 1/2 hour student free moment of the entire week!  She herself never did get into using it…

    I moved on — out of Kindergarten and into the position of teaching art and technology to the kids in that same school.  My friend was supportive of what I was doing and even came up with some nice ideas of what I could do that fit into what her kids were learning.  But she never touched those computers herself.

    She retired 5 years ago, and moved away, never having actually become a computer user; still to this day she uses the phone, because she knows that will work.  As a result; she is pretty much cut off from the most of the people she knew all her life.

    I retired last year and find that my world is continually expanding with new and interesting connections with educators all over the world.  I think there is so much more to keeping up than just ‘liking it’. 

    To those teachers who embrace technology – keep sharing your excitement; to those still afraid – do it for yourself AND for your students. Step back, get out of the way, and you’ll learn.  If not, just step back and get out of the way.  The field of education is not for you.

  14. I am in complete agreement and I also feel that frustration! However I do appreciate the contribution of old Al who took out the tough boys and taught them how to make a wood fired pizza oven. I would love Al to integrate technology into his work but hey, those boys are turning out great pizzas! (And delivering to staff meetings!) 

  15. Yes indeed Chris. You have hit the nail on the head and hit it hard.  Your commenters are all in agreement. As are all those who have tweeted about your post. Surely the frustration is that all those teachers out there we you are talking about won’t read your excellent blog because they don’t read blogs; they won’t see the tweets because they haven’t discovered the wonder of a twitter PLN; so they keep on doing what they are doing without technology impacting on them at all. At my school they don’t even read emails until days after they were sent.  They don’t follow advice from the IT people because ‘it was too hard’ or ‘I didn’t think that meant me’. I am sick of hearing school leaders make excuses for these teachers and telling me that they have other strengths! I suspect it is not only technology that they don’t embrace I think it is any new idea – why are people so afraid of change?

  16. Chris, I may the lone voice paddling against popular sentiment here but I’m not sure that posts that rant against the perceived techno-shortcomings of the general teaching population are all that useful or thought provoking. Hey, I’ve been known to get a bit frustrated when others don’t see the importance of what I’m seeking to do, so I’m not being too big a hypocrite by wading in here. I work at a public school which is considered to be reasonably progressive in its focus on learning, and technology is only one piece of the overall picture so saying that teachers just need to “do it” is a bit of a simplistic slogan that turns a convenient blind eye to everything that needs to be in place for students’ successful learning. Generally, I only have a day and a half a week to focus on the technology in my coordinator role – the rest of the time I am working in a classroom grappling with the incoming Australian Curriculum, working on embedding Learning Intentions and Success Criteria into my lessons and tasks set for my students, thinking about how to reform my Mathematics lessons so that I’m not merely passing on my poor learning methods and strategies from the eighties, ensuring that students are thinking about resilience and working tough and being organised, ensuring that my Science includes 5 E’s reflection, that I’m connected to my learning team as we move forward in our inquiry units and that we are adhering to the the Understanding by Design principles …. you get the picture, I’m sure. I’m struggling in a few of those areas but I’m certainly not ignoring or glossing over any of them even though my skills are not as proficient as many of my colleagues. They depend on me to guide them in the appropriate technology choices in the same way that I’ll lean on them to help me design an appropriate Learning Intention or to structure a Maths lesson that gets the students thinking in the way that they should. In the same way, my colleagues are not ignoring the possibilities that ICT have for their teaching and student learning but in a pressure packed job, not all areas get the same attention at the same time. You and I might want them to raise their proficiency and “just do it” but so does the Maths focus person and so does the Literacy Coordinator and so does the Student Wellbeing committee, and you know what, they are all legitimate. So, many teachers feel constantly torn and for them, coming to grips with much of this is a hard slog. Integrating technology is not necessarily the fun and engaging way to go that clearly the majority of us commenting here find it to be. I mean, look at us all, blogging and tweeting and hanging out in Second Life. It is a form of learning that we find incredibly engaging and from time to time, it can mask us from the reality that we are in a small minority of educators. Is it fair to judge their prowess from our standards? Because if we do, then what stops the Mathematics leaders from demanding the same and if I haven’t devoured the complete works of George Booker, or don’t spend my weekends creating maths gameboards or learning the nuances of a scientific calculator, am I being a deficient educator and worthy of ridicule? Education is always in constant flux and teachers spend their whole careers in a state of unlearning and re-learning. I know that for every thing I can do well in terms of tech integration with students, there are other teachers with other skills in other areas outdoing me and no one really has the moral high ground.

    1. That’s a cop-out, Graham. Everybody is pretty tired of the “I’m too busy to learn how to do that” excuse. It’s like a plumber refusing to use silicon because he doesn’t believe in it. Eventually, some pretty big leaks are going to occur, and someone will be in deep water.

      You, yourself, refer to demands from different curriculum areas on teachers – but the point is that nobody says “sorry I don’t ‘do’ Maths or English or history…” but they DO dodge the use of IT.

      If a curriculum component is a part of your expected job, there is no excuse for doing it badly, let alone not doing it at all.
      Are you honestly happy to accept mediocrity (or less) on the basis that someone else can do the job better? Or because someone else might pick up the pieces?

      1. Well, my comment was sort of cast in a “devil’s advocate” mindframe, seeing if I might get a bite and I see you’ve obliged. Maybe text comments are sometimes a difficult medium in which to express opinion and I may not be the world’s best communicator but I’ll try to clarify and build on what I was seeking to say.

        I actually don’t know many educators who actually put technology into the “I’m too busy to learn how to do that” category. But I do work with quite a few who are doing their best to come to grips with tech integration as they juggle all of the other expectations coming their way. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t doing it. That’s the point I was trying to make. And there are teachers who actively resist changing their practices in English or Mathematics, even when PD and current research is telling them that they must make changes for the benefit of their learners. In high schools, I have heard of Science teachers who say they won’t bother with the literacy aspects of their subject because that is the English teacher’s responsibility.

        I’m heard and seen the adage that technology magnifies teaching practice. Technology will help make a an excellent teacher become even more innovative in providing learning opportunities for his or her students. But adding technology into mediocre practice won’t make much difference, just digitise practice as it currently exists and for the teacher who isn’t seeking to continually improve, technology will only magnify their deficiencies. But tech integration is also a school wide responsibility – if teachers aren’t evolving their practice, those of us charged with the technology focus of our school need to work with them to ensure that students don’t miss out.

        I suppose what provoked my response is that I’ve read posts like Chris’s all over the web, lamenting those incompetents who don’t “get it” and I don’t think it achieves much more than getting a round of “hear, hears” and a tone of self-righteousness in the comments. Teaching is complex and becoming increasingly more so, and every facet deserves as much focus for our students’ futures as technology use for learning. Is everyone here on top of every aspect of their teaching practice? Or will some at least admit that, like myself, there are aspects of our job we are not top of totally, components that are works in progress and parts that we find harder to engage with. Think of those aspects and at least recognise the fact that technology use for learning does not come easily for everyone – and that does immediately label them as being less than worthy educators. And please do not read this as me advocating for opting out of technology.

    2. Hi Graham,

      Sorry for taking so long to get back to on this comment…  I’ve been travelling overseas and haven’t had the headspace to think it over.

      I think you sum it up in your last paragraph when you say “Education is always in constant flux and teachers spend their whole careers in a state of unlearning and re-learning.”  For those teachers who accept this state of flux, who willingly learn and unlearn and relearn, I don’t think anyone would criticise those efforts. You’re absolutely correct in saying that there are MANY aspects of the classroom competing for our attention: staying up to date with current developments in literacy and numeracy, brain theory, learning theory, etc, not to mention staying abreast of information about allergies, child safety legislation, OH&S, etc, etc… teaching is a busy job, there’s no argument about that.

      My beef is with those that have simply given up, or refuse to do the learning, unlearning and relearning.  It’s not really about technology per se, although I think that the requirement to integrate technology is a trigger that brings these attitudes to the surface.  The real issue is that some teachers – who are supposed to be learning professionals – have forgotten what it means to learn, unlearn and relearn.

      1. When you summarise it like that, I agree wholeheartedly. It’s the process of being able to constantly re-invent oneself as a learning professional that is crucial and technology is one piece of the overall picture.

  17. Great post. I went to a course recently where we were reminded that we are educating our students for a future we don’t know about. We must keep up with the present and give them the skills to explore the future.

    1. Hallo
      I think the problem is a very deep seated one: that of Mindset (see Carol Dweck’s work on this). Those people who have a ‘fixed mindset’ fear change, and rely on knowing stuff to achieve a final end.  Those with a ‘growth mindset’ take risks with their learning, celebrate challenges to their perceptions and enjoy the journey. When they make a mistake, they regard it as a way to improve, not to avoid.
      Those teachers who give the message that they ‘should’ know everything because they are the holders of the information which is to be transmitted to pupils are bad teachers. If you have the fixed mindset, you believe that your talents and
      abilities are set in stone–either you have them or you don’t. You must
      prove yourself over and over, trying to look clever and talented at all
      costs. This is the path of stagnation.
      If you have a growth mindset,
      however, you know that talents can be developed and that great abilities
      are built over time. This is the path of opportunity–and success.
      Dweck demonstrates that mindset unfolds in childhood and adulthood and drives every aspect of our lives. The influence of teachers is of temendous importance.
      I am nearly 60 and am happy to admit I don’t know how to use much of the technology: I just ask the kids. My job is to help them navigate through the plethora of information out there, to learn to discern and discriminate, to examine everything critically: to draw out strengths and help overcome difficulties. To pretend that ICT is a mere adjunct to the real job of imparting information, a mere enhancement to learning and teaching, should be a sackable offense! The very nature
      of teaching is changing because of the technological context within which
      education now occurs. An expanding definition of literacy, and fundamental
      changes in the way we access information, alter our teaching approaches. This
      is particularly so for those for whom traditional ways of learning have not
      been very successful. (I work with leanrers with dyslexia).
      To ignore the mulitple modes of accessing and demonstrating knowledge and understanding is not just foolish and arrogant – it’s unprofessional.
      Our job ultimately is to enable the construction of meaning. A teacher who learns together with her pupils, making and celebrating errors along the way, is the one who will inspire them to strive for understanding.
      Thank you for a great post.

  18. In my experience as teacher trainer and Head of Faculty, and despite all the excuses you hear as to why not make the most of the available technology to enhance teaching and learning, it all boils down to this: teachers remain unconvinced of the pedagogical potential of using technology in the classroom or, especially, beyond it – the thought of using social networking in the educational context is generally feared, jeered and ridiculed (by that, sadly, I mean misunderstood).

    To too many teachers it’s either technology or academic rigour. In their minds you can’t possibly have both. In my view, this is the notion we need to dispel if we want teachers to convince themselves and then their administrators (technology integration must come from the grassroots, in my opinion) that the effective use of ICT is indeed pedagogically sound and, above all, desirable. 

    Until that happens, we will be shortchanging whole generations of students.

  19. I agree with a lot of the comments on here, but I also think that this sort of attitude is condoned by SMT’s view of technology. Hey, I wouldn’t even be able to read this at school; youtube is banned; even wikipedia has been an issue since the latest internet safety programme was brought in, and don’t even get me started on facebook, skype and twitter. Even if there wasn’t this paranoia against web-based technology, schools are reluctant to spend the money bringing networks up to speed (let alone teachers – God help you if you don’t “get it” in the 1 hour CPD given the one time it was decided the school couldn’t do without a bit of quick training).
    Having worked quite closely with a few technophobes in my department (lovely people who want the best for the kids but are at the end of their careers and do feel threatened by how quickly they see things change around them), I know a lot of it is a question of confidence. I’ve spent plenty of time patiently explaining things and it’s great to see them understand things, but it is very slow progress. Understandably, it is threatening for them to see young colleagues like me, and pretty much all the kids they teach, know much more about technology than they ever will. Does it mean they can ignore it? No. But I do think we need to teach teachers how to use it easily and with the confidence that it will work, rather than expecting them to get on with it.

  20. This is the story of a program that works. 10 years ago, when I started teaching, there were two teachers who objected to every technology that was introduced in school. They frequently complained that I was wasting time having the kids do original projects using Technology.  I was so glad when they left my school.

    In the meantime our district started a new program, INTERACT. 2 Teachers from each campus would go to an intensive training the first week of summer*. Then at the end they received a grant to order the equipment they were trained on for their classroom.

    The third year I got to go YEA! I was shocked to see both the anti-tech teachers walk into the meeting. They had done a complete 180. The program had closed a huge gap – because you got the equipment. The anti-tech teachers had become jaded after going to workshops seeing how tech could help and going back to classrooms that did not have the tech.

    The other interact teachers and I all have teachers coming in and borrowing equipment. Once our principal sees we are using the equipment and great learning is happening, then he will buy it for the rest of the campus.

    We also have fantastic CITS that are on campus 1x a week. They help teachers integrate tech into their lessons, and with any glitches. Our CITS was a lifesaver this year. We had Promethean Boards installed, one set of them would function for a week then stop. The CITS did a good deal of brainstorming/trouble shooting with our IT person and the company doing the installing. All but one was fixed – and that one the problem was isolated to the computer not the board.

    *This was changed this year. Now it is 4 teachers per campus.

    1. Hi Peter, 

      Which part do you need “the peer reviewed facts” about?… The idea that technology has been around for 20 years in schools? Or the idea that there are still large numbers of teachers who haven’t embraced it?

      Seriously, you need “the facts” before you’d accept either of those assertions?

      There’s an awful lot of experienced teachers adding their voice of agreement in the comment stream above…  does that count as “peer reviewed facts”? I don’t understand what you’re wanting.

      Dude. It’s a blog… it’s as much about opinions as it is about peer reviewed facts.

  21. And what do you say to teachers who achieve excellent results without technology in the classroom? There are certainly teachers who do. Those who aren’t convinced that all that glitters is gold. I am fascinated by technology myself and use it for my own professional development and also in the classroom. However, just occasionally I do stop and ask myself whether my students could have got “there” without the internet, whether cutting and pasting virtual documents is better than cutting and pasting real ones. I know about the opportunities new technologies provide, but what should matter is the outcome, not necessarily the way we get there.

    1. It’s a good question.  There are certainly teachers who do get excellent results without the use of technology. One of the frustrations for me as an ICT Integrator is the stonewalling I sometimes get from teachers who get these excellent results, who push back and say “why should I bother integrating technology when my students are already achieving success at a high level?”  It’s a fair question.

      I suppose my response would be “Success by what measure?”  I happen to believe that many of the measures we use to gauge success in education are flawed…  as the obvious example, doing well on a standardised test does not mean that you are en educated, enlightened individual.  Being able to score highly in a test does not mean you have a broad understanding. Being “smart” is not the same as being wise. 

      I’m idealistic enough to think that we should be focusing on the big things that matter in the long term, so quite frankly I don’t really care too much about measuring students up against the short term goals that most education is founded on. 

      Your point about not everything needing to be based on the use of digital tools is a good one. Obviously, it the big picture – the learning outcomes – that matter and if they can be achieved without the use of technology by teachers then that’s great.  We shouldn’t get hung up on doing things with a computer when other non-digital ways are better. Use the best tools to get the job done.

      My issue with that is that in many, many cases, the use of a digital tool IS the best means by which to reach an educational outcome.  Not always, but often. If a teacher does not feel able to operate comfortably in this digital world, then any opportunity to leverage these tools is lost.  And that’s why I feel it’s unacceptable to be a digitally illiterate educator.

  22. Chris – you have hit the nail on the head! We are teachers. We are the adults. We are in a profession who need to keep learning about technology in the workplace. Technology integration is not an option in a 21st Century learning environment. Imagine what would happen if teachers opted out of learning maths facts.  Statements like “I don’t do times tables”  or “I don’t do fractions” would bring about an uproar. Great comments!

  23. I completely agree with you, but in the context of higher education can we really expect academics to fulfil the role of instructional designers? At the pace that technology is advancing and taking into consideration the myriads of digital tools available can they really keep up? I don’t think so. I think that as subject matter experts they should collaborate with professional instructional designers. They should definitely envisage new possibilities and imagine innovative educational practices, but to proceed they will require the assistance of eLearning experts and educational technologists. Teams of students could also be crowd sourced to contribute to the application of eLearning and share the required cost in effort and time.
    I posted something relevant to this in my blog: http://techenlearn.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/teach-teachers-about-teaching.html

That's all well and good, but what do YOU think?