Teacher expert vs teacher learner.

When I talk to people involved in education, from technitians to principals and software developers I hear a similar story about the state of tech integration in schools.  They all say the same thing – there is a HUGE chasm between the schools that are embracing the digital movement and those that aren’t.

I think the chasm is also happening within schools as well as between them.  Some teachers are providing their classes with fantastic opportunities to explore and create with digital tools while others have technology that’s gathering dust – and they’re concerned.

There are a lot of reasons why this is happening.  One of the main reasons is that many of us are not ready to make the transition from being the ‘teacher expert’ to the ‘teacher learner’.  So what is the difference?  Here’s my take.

This transition isn’t easy.  It means that I often find myself in situations where I’m asking my students for help.  I’ll often admit that I don’t know what to do – but let’s try and work it out together!

I think that it’s this approach, the teacher as a learner attitude, that encourages us to adopt new technologies in our classrooms and schools.  I have quite a lot of experience, now, with blogs and 3rd party applications.  I know very little, however, about ipod touches and how to make apps for them but I’m really keen to get some for our class!

My challenge to all of us is to risk being the student in the eyes of your class.   What kinds of new technology have you been a learner with this year?

Are we ready to take off our expert hat?
(Image posted under C.C.  from Al Hikes AZ, Cartoon – http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/2010/10/12/)

5 thoughts on “Teacher expert vs teacher learner.

  1. The reality is the chasm you refer to exists in all areas of life … The people who seem to advance in any career are those who are willing to ask questions and seek information.

    Technology is still in its infancy so is still too distracting and doesn't always deliver real benefit. I'm holding my breath for the revolution!

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  2. The revolution is happening at our school… I have been working on this for 3 years. Music teacher is developing her blog this week, team leader is using voicethread instead of making a mobile and my team is attempting to get comments and feedback. I think the trick is pedagogy and purpose. If we are told we have to – it is just another virtual classroom wall and too much hard work. If the teacher has a purpose and can link it to tried and true pedagogy – they will be more receptive…

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  3. Great comment, Claire! I'm al about creating the purpose behind what we learn. So much of what we know about student's learning is often not replicated and applied to us as teachers!

    It's fantastic to see a school community begin to make that transition to a group of learners. One way to do this would be to celebrate what is happening through assemblies, the school website and even the paper newsletter!

    I hope the revolution continues!

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