The Wrong Focus

Train (v) — “teach (a person or animal) a particular skill or type of behavior through practice and instruction over a period of time.”

From CDGW’s EdTech Focus on K-12:

In a recent survey by Education Dive, sponsored by Sprint, 86 percent of respondents agree that teachers in their district need more training in educational technology. Unlike Price of LAUSD, 41 percent of respondents say they don’t believe their districts have an explicit plan that lays out for teachers how educational technology can be most effectively used in lessons and curricula.

If you want to understand more fully the larger problem we have in education, it is this: just like our students, teachers are waiting for someone to teach them something rather than just going out and learning it.

I’m not saying there isn’t value in teaching stuff or skills or other things in the moment.

But to suggest that more “training” for some future lesson is somehow going to transform the use of technology in classrooms once again misses the point.

This is not about teaching. It’s about learning.

If we’re focused on building plans that “lay out for teachers how educational technology can be most effectively used in lessons and curricula” then nothing will change. Nothing.

I ask this a lot: Anyone know of a nine-year old kid who was “trained” to learn Minecraft? Took a workshop in Snapchat? Why should we be ok with adults waiting for a workshop?

If you really want to change things, focus on culture and on developing more kid-like dispositions in the adults to use technology to learn, not just to teach.

Don’t, as the CDGW article suggests, start by “making technology the focus.”

Instead, start by making learning the focus.

(Image credit: NWABR)

Originally published at Will

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