Thursday, March 1, 2007

Teachers of the Future

It has been an interesting week for me to be an educator. This week, I was fortunate enough to have a teacher aide from the local college start with me. She is excited to start teaching, but I don't feel that she is prepared. She doesn't really know a lot about podcasting, but is excited about our penpals (yes, we still do them the old-fashioned way. It's hard to send gifts through e-mail). What are our universities teaching these kids? We MUST stop teaching these kids how to hand out packets and start teaching them that students ought to be teaching themselves as much as possible!

Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to sit down with the State of Michigan Teacher of the Year. I thought it was an honor mearly to be able to ask her questions. Imagine my surprise when she starts asking ME questions! It was a lovely conversation - one I will never forget.

I say this not to gloat (well, okay, maybe a little), but rather to emphasize yet again that in order to teach Digital Natives (thank you Marc Prensky) we need to be open to change. Look at our solar system, for example. If you had told me when I was 8 that Pluto wouldn't be a planet in the year 2007, I would have said 1.) The world will end in 2000, so I don't have to worry about that, and 2.) Huh? Pluto will always be a planet. Facts used to be unchanging, but now I'm not sure that's true. Facts are facts until proven otherwise, and we need to keep as current as possible. Now, more than ever, educators MUST be lifelong learners. And universities and colleges need to keep up with the times, so to speak. Not only should every class deal with technology integration, they should have whole classes on it! And no, not on "educational technology" (I took that - we talked about WebQuests, Excel, and Word), but on real, everyday, kid-friendly technology. We need to speak Native, no matter what our tongue is. Parlez-vous technologie?

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Beyond Podcasting, Education, Education of the Future

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