Chris Craft made an excellent point in our discussion yesterday:
After all, this is about the kids sitting in my classroom right now,
and what is best for them, where best is defined as supported by research, best practice, etc.
This has been echoing in my head ever since I read it.
I agree and support this sentiment.
But I feel compelled to point out that driver's ed teachers need to know how to drive. Part of what makes a great teacher (correct me if I'm off base here) is that s/he is able to take a collection of tools and make them work in astonishing ways. Books, boards, crayons, computers, whatever. Learning a tool so you can require your kids to use it because it's a "best practice" is like being "one chapter ahead of the class in the text."
I'm not saying that this is what Chris is advocating, but I think it bears emphasis. If you don't "own it" and if you don't "use it" yourself in your own learning -- you ARE still learning, right? -- then most of this Deuce stuff is the gray paint on the naval frigate. Makes them blend in with the rest, but doesn't help them float.
I appreciate the sentiment that a teacher can't waste time on practice that has no merit, but if you don't know it yourself, then how can you know? What's the value of putting a computer in a classroom?
None if you don't turn it on.
Little if you only use it do to "normal" things.
Priceless if you do something surprising with it.
By definition, "surprising" isn't a best practice.
And you only get to "surprising" by owning the technology yourself.