Monday, June 21, 2010

New National Technology Standards for Educators

Upon looking at the National Education Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for Teachers I found, like many of today's educators, that I am already doing quite a few of these standards.  However, there are some that I most certainly am not doing.  Interestingly enough, the one's that I seem to resist doing are the one's that I struggle with mentally and not because of a lack of skill.  For example the following two sub sections of Standard three:

3. Model Digital-Age Work and Learning
Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society. Teachers:

b. collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation
c. communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital-age media and formats

My struggle lies in trying to figure out how to add this to my list of things to do.  Most of the others center around utilizing technology within the content area.  These require me to add on to an already full workload.  While I completely agree that they are useful, I just can't imagine how I would find time to communicate in a variety of modes.  Right now we are required to call parents, not just email, parents if a student fall below a C-.  I also have used a weekly email format, which takes time when teaching 3 different classes a trimester.  Now adding on web pages, blogging, twittering, and/or a Facebook page (or another format) makes me wonder where I am getting this extra time.  While I know it only takes less than five minutes  to Twitter or Facebook this time adds up over the course of a trimester.  I feel that I have a mental block where this standard is concerned.  What I need to make this mental shift happen is for someone to show me how make this happen in a timely manner, without adding to my already full plate. 

The other standard that I am struggling with is to design and develop digital-age learning experiences.  Not because I don't want students to have the opportunity or because I lack the creativity or time, but because of the lack of computer availability that my students face.  During trimester two, I was hoping to have my multcultural literature classes create a wiki.  However, almost 75% of my students did not have access to a computer at home or the internet and finding open computer lab time on a weekly basis was extremely difficult, because of 10th grade research paper and other classes also needing computers.  Perhaps, I need to just write a grant and turn my classroom into a my own personal computer lab ... maybe that isn't such a bad idea.  I wouldn't have to have 35 computers, but five to ten would allow students to rotate stations of learning with their wiki and blogs as one of the stations ... I must ponder this more. 

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