Friday, July 27, 2007

The reality of Education for first year teachers...

David Warlick had a REALLY controversial post today about a presentation to first year teachers.

He stated that only two of them were bloggers, no one knew about Web 2.0, only a handful knew what a wiki was, and no one had heard of RSS. And he posed the question about whether we were creating a bunch of hype about “Web 2.0″ just to have something to be enthusiastic about.
You need to read the post and the comments--

I thought the best way for me to write about it was by way of "skype cast" conversation between myself and a colleague (who happens to live in FL, but be working in CA at the time of the conversation) Where else but in a Web2.0 world would something like this occur?

Kristin Hokanson 10:06 PM
the reality of it is, even being involved in ed tech in the classroom I have seen a TREMENDOUS shift in the past 2 years. Yes these technologies have been around, but more people are using them today than ever and I think they NEED to be defined....if you ask kids if they have every responded to a blog and hardly any of them will say yes...ask them how many have used myspace...
Zachary Chase 10:07 PM
And they're using them to connect on a much larger, more consistent scale.
Kristin Hokanson 10:07 PM
and they don't understand the ethics of it.... and I agree that it needs to be brought into higher level institutions...colleges NEED to be addressing this
Zachary Chase 10:08 PM
It's the approaching equity of the situation.
Kristin Hokanson 10:08 PM
and quite frankly....5 years ago would 2 people who met randomly EVER be able to have this discussion in 2 time zones in a professional manner
10:09 PM
It almost deserves us posting THIS conversation as a response
Zachary Chase 10:10 PM
I agree.
10:11 PM
My gut reaction is there are more important arguments to be had beyond the semantics of the whole thing.
Kristin Hokanson 10:12 PM
John Pederson made a great point that in the past you would sit and absorb what you can in one inservice and then be left on your own to absorb and apply what you have learned. With the interactive are never alone in applying new skills in the classroom
Zachary Chase 10:12 PM
Saying that you kept a photo gallery online 10 years ago is different than me watching my 8-year-old brother connect the digital camera and upload pics of the family vacation to Flickr It's also got to be noted that many times I'm building on what other people are doing in their classrooms unbeknownst to those teachers.
Kristin Hokanson 10:15 PM
so true--I think David's original point was quite valid--these teachers are coming out of school doing NATURALLY what we older folks (and I won't include you mr born shortly before I graduated HS in that category) had to LEARN to do. Since we learned it to use it, we are using it ethically, professionally and thinking about the implications for the future in our profession
Zachary Chase 10:16 PM
But I'm also not.I'm using tools professionally that I used first personally.
Kristin Hokanson 10:17 PM
Newer teachers do it naturally as part of their world. Exactly my point but I dont think that most people make that connection
Zachary Chase 10:18 PM
I agree From the moment I started using it, I started advocating the use of myspace in schools. It just makes sense. Using cell phones is the same thing.
Kristin Hokanson 10:19 PM
I think we need to do activities that mirror myspace, but there needs to be a separation between personal and professional use
Zachary Chase 10:19 PM
I have two myspace accounts. Mine and Mr. Chase's. The former is private, the latter public. Through the use of the latter, I've been able to communicate with my students from last year and begin signing them up for my 9th grade English course that wasn't on the schedule until two weeks ago. By using the tools in this way, I can model responsible use in a way no one ever did for me. I set up an AIM profile for my kids to communicate with me. When I talk to them there, I use (much to their dismay) Standard English. They notice it and it opens a great conversation. There's nothing covert here, no effort to usurp their ownership of the skills, I'm merely meeting them at their level. Why compete for their attention when I can use the channels that already have their attention?
Kristin Hokanson 10:23 PM
did I open a can of worms?
Zachary Chase 10:25 PM
In Bill Bryson's book A Short History of Nearly Everything, he describes how biology developed as a science and the difficulty in nomenclature. The same process is happening here. Call a swallow a Dutch Swallow or a Netherlands Swallow, it's still the same bird, pity we have to quibble over what we're going to call it while the rest of the world pushes it toward extinction.The other piece that's important, with regard to David's original post, is the knowledge that colleges are teaching new teachers how to teach, not necessarily how to think like teachers. When we talk about thinking literacies and their place in classrooms, we cannot let higher ed escape our gaze.
Kristin Hokanson 10:31 PM
that is true in all cases
10:31 PM
I have friends who did the Columbia writing program with Lucy Calkins. What they are doing is very different from how everyone else is teaching and thinking about writing and yet when we write curriculum rather than using collaborative tools to involve them in the process...they have to wait until the ONE DAY that they can all get together
Zachary Chase 10:33 PM
Can we relinquish the idea that we will wrest education initiatives away from the body politic and instead turn our attention to mandating that the reforms they decide upon are truly what reflect education's needs?
Kristin Hokanson 10:35 PM
only when we relinquish the idea that school is a 189 day 8:30-3:30 job with summers off...

Thought this would accurately reflect both use of tools and conversation….
Interesting thread…. Your thoughts?


  1. Blasphemy!

    Actually, for over a year now I've been wondering the same thing. We keep saying that the kids are using this technology but I can't find those kids. An I kept wondering if it was just the bloggers who are using the tools and who are learning so much from the blogs. I even wanted to put up some sort of survey and then try to spread the word to kids around the country (via their teachers)to take the survey to try to find out how may of them really ARE using the tools. I still want to do it, but I don't have the right tool to collect and analyze the data.

    I just wonder what that data would show.

  2. Teaching a population from such diverse economics backgrounds, I'm often wondering who's got access and who doesn't. I'll do a survey at the beginning of the year, but it doesn't reflect their daily usage.
    My question to you is what tools are you wondering about. They're certainly on Myspace which I consider an amalgam of read/write tools. What tools are you having doubts about?

  3. Nicole2059:07 PM

    In response to the article... I am currently taking a college course called computers in education that educates future teachers in the importance of incorporating technology in the classroom and ways to do so. In my education I didn't really get the luxury of having techonology incorporated into my classes. I mean yeah I had technology courses and learned how to use a computer but in other subjects technology was rarely used to aid my education. This was especially true in my earlier schooling. This makes sense because my teachers weren't taught by the use of technology and weren't taught how to use technology in the classroom. I had many preconceived notions about this course and figured oh ill just learn how to make webpages and powerpoints for my class. Ive now realized how important using technology in classrooms really is and am so thankful I have learned that. I hope that all colleges require a course like this for teachers and hope current teachers are also being educated. We are surrounded by a world of technology and it will only continue to grow. It's important to keep up with the growing technology and do anything we can to benefit our students.