I just stumbled onto a post by Graham over at Teaching Generation Z that suggests this problem of getting peers to buy into the importance of teaching (or even implementing in their own practice) the use of social software: “One issue that keeps coming back to my brain is how hard it is to sell the concept of blogging to fellow staff members” (“Finding Time To Blog” ). I find this is the case as well. Teachers I have interacted with at conferences, and in professional context seem to have that ‘head in the sand’ approach. I have blogged about this on several occasions, especially around the area of appropriate use, as has Aaron over at Teacher in Development . This seems to be a problem that borders on universal in its’ occurence, yet, Graham’s post contests my former ideas that one reason keeping teachers from stepping into the blogosphere is the hesitancy to change from their ‘traditional’ ways of learning and teaching. Graham states that he has been in the ‘field’ for 18 years: “I just know I am embarking on the greatest professional development of 18 years teaching and sometimes feel like I’m arriving well after the party has started” (“Finding Time To Blog” ). I think Graham’s feelings of being behind the ball are not limited to the seasoned veteran. I am still working on my first year of teaching and feel as if I am in a similar situation (even though my teaching degree included tech. training), but I agree with Graham’s statement that our feelings of being slightly behind the technology curve are not a viable excuse:
But for the sake of our students, teachers have to get involved in the regular use of new technologies and connect to others to experience the wealth of collective learning opportunities. (“Finding Time To Blog” )
I have blogged similar things, especially in light of the fact that students are growing up ‘immersed’ in such technologies (see my comments re ‘Syncing the IKid’ on Teacher in Development blog) :
Members of today’s digital generation of students have spent their early lives immersed in robust, visual, electronic media–home computers, video games, cyberspace networks, and virtual reality. They expect–indeed, demand–interaction, approaching learning as a ‘plug-and-play’ experience. (James Duderstadt, qtd. in Ganley, “BLOGTALK Paper (an excerpt and in full): Blogging as a Dynamic, Transformative Medium in an American Liberal Arts Classroom” )
Graham’s assertion of the blog manifesto is right on:
“I know that one can blog on any topic but for educators, this is the ultimate way to get a world perspective”(“Finding Time To Blog” ). Blogging and using social software empowers us to go beyond the walls of the traditional classroom; to truly get a more global and diversified perspective…
redux: (added ten minutes later…) Case in point: Graham is an Aussie teacher. I am blogging from the other side of the globe, hemisphere, equator, in Canada.