I wrote a recent blog post that I'm looking for feedback on. I'm wondering what you think is the real job of an Educational Technologist? Should an edtech specialist teach their teachers how to be better educators or better technologists? I'm in an edtech Master's program and really frustrated that a course about the Internet is more about coding html and CSS then about using the real power of the Internet. Looking for your views on dealing with edtech specialists in your school or district. Do they teach you how to write code, use creative tools on the Internet, or just help you fix computer problems?

If you want to read the full Classroom 2.0 blog post, click here.

Tags: edtech, web2.0

Views: 145

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Cory--I'm a tech resource teacher in Virginia and our department's mantra is "Teachers first." We leave the technical stuff to the engineers of the department. We are able to troubleshoot if it is inhibiting instruction, but our first and foremost responsibility is instruction, period. Our district made sure that this is what was to be done. I start my masters at Va. Tech. this fall (Instructional Technology) and I hear they focus on instruction, as they should. Best of luck to you!
Cory,
A good question. At first, I feel that Brian is absolutely correct in that teaching and writing code are distinctively different and it's best to leave the "wired" world to the IT dept. My immediate answer, however, is short sighted. I don't know much about code and I can see the distinct line where my expertise stops and where I need help. I think that although right now we see teaching as separate from code and anything dealing with serious development I would guess that this will not always be the case. I would hope that we could see your position as possibly cutting edge and the efforts of developing teachers that can actually LEAD the way rather than work desperately to catch up. Granted, this group is the choir for tech, but imagine the possibilities in instruction if you can whip out some code to bolster a class website. Imagine the possibilities and collaborative gains from teaching off the front and designing projects with your kids as they learn to design rather than to simply navigate. This is what it means to really develop 21st century learners.

So, while I'm not sure this helpful, I would guess that your training will lead to many of the current trends online for tech instruction and you'll get the hot topics (they don't take long), but I would bet that if you press on with your full attention, your gains from learning code and CSS will offer volumes of options to your classes in the future. Good luck.
I agree that teaching is the first priority. Which curriculum/standards are best served by which tools.

Most teachers do not now, nor will likely ever use any technical coding. They (at least most good ones I know) are looking for ways to be more effective, more efficient and keep students engaged. Some others (more and more) are also looking for ways for students to be literate in the technology skills that are being used in the real world. There is already A LOT to think about, know, and practice just to keep up with these needs.

Coding is useful for those who are ready for it, but I don't think the average teacher is. Many are completely overwhelmed by just the idea of using the tools that are already available. I prefer, and am looked to to help teachers use the technology in the classroom and occasionally answer a few tech questions ("My screen suddenly went blank...what now?")

The HTML coding and CSS may definitely come in handy for you, but maybe not as something you teach to most fellow educators.
I agree with this. I too am a teacher who began overwhelmed with all that is out there and none of my colleagues are prepared for code, but I just can't help but think about exposing graduate students to the development side. Kids become familiar with such things well before adults do (if they do) and I simply like the prospect of teaching those going into a masters in edtech the spectrum of possibilities. I suppose I took on the portion of the question concerning Cory's dissatisfaction in his program more than what should be taught to teachers currently.
@ Erik- I agree that if you know how to code you could create a great website, but there are plenty of resources available for making websites that don't require you to know anything about coding. Every web building program has designed templates where you just plug in the content. There are open source codes available online so you can get free web templates online if you dont have webdesign software. There are web programs like Google Sites and wiki's where you can build cool looking sites without ever knowing any code.

When I look at the amazing Web 2.0 tools that are available for teachers to use with their kids like Voicethread, Slideshare, Animoto, Zoho, wiki's,blogs, etc..... I wonder why a course about the Internet would be anything other than trying to utilize those great teaching tools. Every minute that I spend learning how to code feels like I'm taking time away from learning the Web2 tools since there is only so much time in a day.
I hear you. I know plenty of what you're speaking of and although I don't write code, I have a few websites and always seem to find the answers I'm looking for when I reach that point where I need help. I guess you'll have to pardon my filter because lately I've been doing research and training with the 21st century in mind and my training, discussions, research deal with our need to educate those who are leading and not only using web 2.0, but creating the templates, and pushing the world into what comes next. And so while I'm with you and I feel your pain and believe that a web 2.0 course would be great, I'm pushing for an educational system that also does teach our tech educators a bit of advanced tech. Good luck to you.
I like your comment very much, as I said in my original post. I am a teacher and I don't care to learn about code. I am doing good to copy and past the code into whatever I am trying to put into an editing function in a template and I am happy with that. Like I said, very nice comment.
Well said. I've found that as I introduce more technology into my class (8th Grade SS), greater amounts of curiosity are generated . I'm starting to get questions about HTML and CSS (even had one student ask me the best way to access a database using the internet). My students are figuring these things out. For me, I like to try and keep up!
Well, even though I am fairly proficient with computers and many applications I sure don't want to learn HTML code, so my answer would be no, they shouldn't teach them code. We have teachers at our high school who can barely even open their email or manage Gradespeed, our grading & attendance program could you imagine trying to teach them the ins and outs of HTML?

I look to our IT folks, who are very good in my opinion to teach about Web 2.0 stuff and yes to help fix things when they get broken as well.

I really think the secret here is to get the teachers excited about the power of all of the social networking and other tools available to them. Remember the old adage, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink." I think that is what we are trying to do with some teachers. No matter what we do there are some who won't ever embrace technology and that is very frustrating.

Coming from a teacher who loves new applications and things. I don't even teach computer technology I teach medical courses in high school.

Good luck with the class and everything else.
Very similar discussion to my too far too fast thread awhile ago. I guess it depends on opinion, what is the role of an edtech. If there role is to develop lessons that can be used with the new tech, they need to know the new tech and how it can be easily and properly used in todays classroom. However they also need to know good design, plus proper integration of curriculum standards. An edtech's job is way more than tech.
I do have to agree with your point of view with respect to teachers learning HTML & CSS. But where and more importantly when will they learn them?

I would love to be more proficient in these areas but how do I learn that. As I have previously stated I teach Health Science Technology, not Computer Technology. I would love to learn more but how would one accomplish this?

With respect your analogy about knowledge of the current state of CPR and bi-phasic defibrillators you are correct. I do understand the science and evidence based case studies which support their use, but I am of course, not as knowledgeable as the engineer who designed the darned thing.

I enjoyed reading your comments.
Being a former elementary teacher ( I guess "former" is relevant) I know the pain of being confused as a "Techie". My job is to help teachers use technology to better educate their students. Therefore, I am an educator. However, this doesn't mean that you don't need to know the background of how things work. I cannot write code, nor will most teachers need to know this. But the background knowledge of how code and other more technical things work is something I should know at least the basics about. This helps me troubleshoot if I'm working with teachers, not that I am a fixer, but you will soon find that technology in schools is less than perfect. At the end of the day, I still consider myself a teacher, but more than that, I am an advocate for teachers and technology use in our district. It may seem your class isn't pertinent, but you never know when that info might help you as a Educator/Technologist.

RSS

Report

Win at School

Commercial Policy

If you are representing a commercial entity, please see the specific guidelines on your participation.

Badge

Loading…

Follow

Awards:

© 2019   Created by Steve Hargadon.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service