The EdTech Teacher's Nightmare

The EdTech Teacher's Nightmare


'DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!': It’s the nightmare every educator is bound to have when teaching in the digital age--the one where you realize the students have moved far beyond your technological expertise and are braving the world wide web (3.0) with their own cunning command of shares, swipes, pins, and likes. You, on the other hand, can only stand there like a pedagogical automaton, wondering how much your class is Lost in Space. And with no other positive course of action, you resort to blurting out, “Danger, Facebook Freddie!” (or Instagram Pam or Tumblr Timmie).

Well, that nightmare is slowly becoming a reality for many classrooms--at least according to U.K. edtech consultant, Aftab Hussain. Sure there’s a bit of an agenda (consultants need problems to solve!) but the salient point is that teachers’ everyday use of technology does not hold a candle to most students’ everyday usage. Much of the technological innovation being introduced in schools suffers the same misalignment. Writes Hussain:

“Teachers are seen as passive consumers of web based services, whilst a growing band of students are active producers of content and active participants in the social web. A minority of students have gone further and they are beginning to define, control and master the devices and services around them. The gap between the first group of students and their teachers is large but one that can be bridged over time; but the gap between the second group of students and their teachers and even with their peers is widening.”

Hussain points out a few efforts -- most notably by and the Raspberry Pi Foundation -- which suggest new ways of engaging with students through technology, but maintains that “[s]chools will be required to think more broadly about the approach that they take.” 

Who’s driving the technology decisions in your school or classroom? Are you keeping up the times (read: the students), or simply hopping from one edtech trend to the next?

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