By Tom Whitby
This was a comment that I posted on a discussion that extended to this post.
Time and funding are becoming old chestnuts in the Tech ed discussions that have been going on for over 20 years now. With Web 2.0 tools available to teachers, funding is far less an issue as a software concern. Hardware has come down so much in price, that it is less of a factor than it has ever been. Consequently, funding should become less of an issue in the discussion.
A big stopping block for educators is always the time factor. It is a legitimate concern that must be considered. It also needs to be placed in perspective in regard to being a question of professionalism. We chose Education as a profession. As a profession we reap many benefits and experiences beyond that which a simple job would offer. There are also huge responsibilities that come with professions.
As educators the commodities we deal with are knowledge and learning. Neither of those commodities stopped being generated the day we received our degrees or teaching certificates. As long as knowledge and learning continue to grow, we, as professionals, have a responsibility to keep up or at least stay relevant.
I would not go to a cardiologist who has not kept up to date on procedures in the operating room. I would not employ a Lawyer who was not familiar with recent laws that might affect my standing. Why would I send my child to a teacher who has not stayed current with the world for 10 years, 5years. 2years, or even 6 months in this age of knowledge growing exponentially on an hourly basis.
Technology is a tool of education. As educators we do not teach computers, we use them. Our students learn from that modeling and also employ the tools to be lifelong learners. As knowledge doubles every six months we need to spend some time keeping up with what we can to maintain relevance. We must remember we are not teaching for our past or even for the present, but rather, for their future. That fact forces us as professionals to spend some time learning skills and developing competencies in areas that were not even a dream as we were younger students learning and growing. Time goes on as we continue to learn and grow, if we are truly educators teaching for the future needs of our students.
Tom Whitby is a Professor of Education in Secondary English, Linkedin group founder and owner of Technology-Using Professors, TWITTER-Using Educators, as well as NING-Using Educators. Join over 1500 educators in several active groups and discussions in his newest ning, the Educator PLN!