The newest teachers coming out of college that show up teaching in my school district are exposed to little tech as a tool, are required to use very little tech in their own studies – and in their methods classes the NCLB-data-driven-programs-of-the-year are what is promoted pretty much to the exclusion of anything else. And I can tell you sitting on my share of interview teams for new teachers – the pre-determined questions are all about which Reading and Math programs youâ€™re trained in (or have even heard of), your experience with them, how willing are you to get more training and have a mentor to help you be your best at doing those programs? Why would anyone get the idea that technology or project-based, problem-based teaching and learning are something to embrace?
So how do we make the change happen more quickly? Make it ring with teachers, business, general public? Has this subject ever been blogged about before? : ]
We have to tell and show and prove that using the tools of technology to do project-based, problem-based learning IS the way to go. Iâ€™ve said before that there is a crack that we can enter through to get our message out there. The crack is the disconnect I catch business people and parents in fairly regularly. Iâ€™ve sat in meetings where people moan about the static state of education and then when ideas start to flow about changing things they quickly retreat to the status quo of what they did in school â€¦ just more accountability. When you point that out to them they usually become very pensive and you can drive home your point about things needing to change â€“ but it will take more than that one time and it will also take proven results. Telling people you think this is the way to go is one thing â€“ being able to point to numerous, ongoing examples that truly are getting results â€“ reproducible results â€“ is what is going to get people off the dime.
We have to take this to business. Teachers seem to have very little say in HOW things are done (have you noticed?) â€“ so while getting teachers onboard is crucial, we go nowhere without the support of the general public, and winning over business just might accomplish both. Iâ€™ve commented on several business peoplesâ€™ blogs â€“ however Iâ€™m not sure how large a readership they had and Iâ€™ve never generated any response from them â€“ so one tactic is to start seeking out more blogs to comment on and spread the message and have some conversation that way.
It would be great to attend some conventions/conferences and present to business people on their own territory – but also rather pricey and time consuming and just a bit intimidating â€“ and I donâ€™t know about you, but I donâ€™t get much info on upcoming business conferences (at least not like I do education conferences) and Iâ€™m not sure how receptive they would be to a session or keynote on education reform during their conference on â€œWidgetâ€ production or marketing or whatever â€¦ is there any tie-in here between education and business? HMMM â€¦ maybe they would be receptive? Maybe now is the time.