Friday, July 11, 2008

A Thought

I posted this rambling comment over at Learning is Messy. I don't write articulately enough to clearly make my point but here it is.

I spent ten years presenting (as a full time teacher) around my state and district. I also presented for 5 years at NECC and IMHO I was very good at it, bringing hundreds of examples and projects from the classroom to share with the participants. I then suffered from tech overload and frustration because, no matter how much they "oh-ed" and "ah-ed" at workshops, I saw little technology integration in the classrooms throughout my large district.

I did not go to NECC this year but from all I have read I get an idea of what it was like. I just had a ridiculous thought, after reading your blog and comments--a big part of these national conferences seems to be the people who are "in" get to see all the other people who are "in" and discuss stuff that has already been discussed in blogs, other conferences, Twittered, etc. Many of the presenters don't go to sessions, they just present. So who's in the audience? What if the audience was mostly tech trainers who are not able to reach kids and teachers who may or may not use the stuff they hear about.

Preaching to the choir? What if the choir hears but does nothing? Is the whole technology push much ado about nothing? Why don't we give the resources, money, time and equipment to the teachers who use it and just forget about the rest. If a teacher is interested he/she will seek out the knowledge or work with kids to use the technology in the classroom.

I use technology of all kinds all the time in my classroom and for the most part I've taught myself everything I know about webpages, blogs, wikis, online courses, Moodle, Blackboard, desktop publishing, robotics, graphics, copyright, digital cameras, whiteboards, and on and on. You can see some of our projects here.
Luckily I retire in a year or two---don't want to irritate too many more people. N.


Doug Noon said...

Other than the first two sentences, your comment speaks for me, as well.

I experimented, read books, and took a couple of classes to learn what I wanted to know about technology. I've never been to a tech conference, and can't imagine wanting to attend one. Why bother?

I enjoyed looking through the "stuff" you linked to. thanks

nbosch said...

Doug, I wonder when districts will stopping throwing hardware and staff development at teachers. I've een in the teaching business a long time and don't see much change. I know veteran teachers who still can't make an attachment to an email and teach kids to use the space bar to center a title in Word!oerungt

Scott said...

I had the exact same thought, which is why I didn't go to NECC this year, even though it was right in my back yard. I couldn't see me learning anything new. I wish that the conference was free for teachers...I know that several of our teacher would have loved going to some of the sessions, but instead they got passes to the exhibit hall. It's not awful because they still saw some cool things, but I think they would have gotten more had they been able to attend sessions.

nbosch said...

Another thought regarding teacher's not presenting....

1. first of all it's the travel money, it could cost several thousand dollars to go
2. secondly, most teachers are women, many who would have to pay child care while they are gone
3. and thirdly and most important to me, I would take me literally hundreds of hours to design a workshop, make the corresponding ppts (which is some cases had 500 screen captures), design to corresponding webpage, do the handouts, etc. I spend all of June getting ready to go---life's too short and definately summer is too short. Let me know if you ever want to see any of my workshops, they are "hidden" on the web but I'll share the password!! You can see the topics at click on workshops on the left.

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