Dear Dan

Today I felt strongly enough to comment on Dan’s post and to write about it again here. Dan is referring to a post by Scott McLeod who bemoans the right of refusal that teachers seem to think they have when it comes to using technology in the classroom.

Dan thinks that we technology coordinators should be “selling” the gadgets (tools) to the teachers so compellingly that they simply can’t resist. Hmmm……… I don’t know of any coordinator/integrator who doesn’t go out of their way to actively showcase the pedagogical benefits of a variety of tools, programs and software. They “sell” it, they create stuff, they publish examples and they talk about it very, very passionately. And are then treated as though they have some sort of communicable disease.

Hey, we are teachers too! Why is it that so many, many teachers stand on their “professionalism” and turn up their noses.

I don’t see the point”! “What I’m doing already is working fine thanks”! “I don’t need it”! “Takes too long. I lose 10 minutes of my lesson whenever I try to use that stuff”! “I’m not comfortable, teaching that way”! Prove to me that it works first, then I’ll consider it”!

Notice that all these well-worn come-backs are about themselves. It’s their classroom and they’ll do it their way, thanks. Well I’m sorry, it’s not about them is it? It is about the kids who need to be exposed to the 21st century tool sets that they will be working with once they get “released” into the real world.

Sorry Dan, but every year that goes by while a teacher refuses to get involved, or “buy” the concept that things have changed, another group of kids gets left behind.

Do we really need to turn tricks and give away free T-shirts?

What we need is a big stick for when they spit the carrots out.

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8 thoughts on “Dear Dan

  1. Pingback: Dear Dan

  2. “Hey, we are teachers too! Why is it that so many, many teachers stand on their “professionalism” and turn up their noses.”

    How many times have I had to explain to colleagues that I AM A TEACHER. Interesting to me to hear that this is epidemic; I thought it was just me.
    I am a teacher first and a techie second. I fell in love with the tech stuff only after I pursued it because my of the way it motivated my students.
    I have been actively involved in technology in education for over 10 years and I still feel so far behind. I am constantly amazed by what others are doing. Technology is not optional in any part of life anymore; it is not going away. I guess maybe some teachers are waiting to retire soon and think they can avoid the technology that way. But anyone who stays in teaching is just going to get more and more behind unless they start NOW.
    The students are hungry for it. Their minds think faster and differently. I know I am on a secondary blog from the original Dy/Dan post, but I guess I strongly disagree with that post.

  3. Hi Andrea, thanks for taking the trouble to leave a comment. No, you are not alone. There are many of us struggling with recalcitrant teachers who will just not even look at the alternatives. 2008 is going to be different because we are taking up the fight a little more vigorously and we are not going to let them get away it any more! Here’s hoping.

  4. Javier, I think you tip your hand with militant comments like “2008 is going to be different because we are taking up the fight a little more vigorously and we are not going to let them get away it any more!”

    I just don’t know many successful salespeople who take as resentful an approach towards their customers as you do.

  5. Pingback: dy/dan » Blog Archive » Your 20th Century Sales Pitch Of A 21st Century Product

  6. Hi Dan ….who is Javier? My name is Graham (Hughes)…..
    I’m not a salesperson and I don’t think I’d make a very good one. I’m a teacher, and have been for 30 years. My last 10 years have been associated with technology and currently I’m one of the coordinators you refer to in your post.
    Yes I am very frustrated, yes I am going to be a little more vigorous in my defence of new pedagogies, and yes I am becoming somewhat intolerant of teachers who won’t at least give it a go.
    Unlike you (and I have been reading your posts for some time) many teachers seem quite happy doing what they have always done, regardless of the fact that the kids are very different.
    I have no hand to tip, I just hope that I can make more of a difference this year than I did last year. I certainly intend to try harder.
    Now come on Dan, take your tongue out of your cheek and admit that as a profession we have to lift ourselves out of the chalk and slate era.

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