Day: August 23, 2009

More Questions than Answers

Image by Wesley Fryer via Flickr

I read this blog last night and it resonated with me in many ways.  I thought that I would share with my friends so I retweeted it.  It appears that I’m not alone as it was retweeted again almost immediately.

The post was entitled “We want what?” and this classroom teacher identified some of the questions that bother him.  Many of the issues are general teaching pedagogy and thoughts about practice but all of them can have a technology slant to them.

From a technology perspective, the thoughts raise many other questions – equity, professional development for teachers, instilling ethics in students, and even what skills are important and need to be learned by students.  It’s probably easier at the secondary school level in Computer Courses (i.e. Business Applications, Communication Technology, Computer Studies, …) where expectations are very explicitly identified.  But wander through an English or Science or any of the Elementary School curriculum and it’s difficult to know what to do.

We want students to be effective researchers, apply computer skills, be safe when on the internet, work in collaboration, etc.

Thankfully, we have the CyberCops materials from OPHEA to assist with internet safety.  The Ministry of Education has licensed Reality Check! to assist with learning what to believe when connected.  Where do you turn for the complete continuum of skills?

ISTE has published their NETS – OSLA has their Information Studies resource – GECDSB has its computer skills continuum – other school districts have their own resources.

I’m watching the Twitter stream of comments as really good teachers are gearing up for the next school year.  Questions are flying about the use of Twitter, Wikis, Blogs, Web2.0 resources, collaboration, and so on.  In some boards, there are no content filters to get in the road of access; in some boards, some resources are blocked and some are left open; in some boards, they’re all blocked.

So, really good teachers are asking really good questions.  The ultimate question goes to the original blog post.  “We want what?”

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