While I’m writing my dissertation, I am teaching at an independent learning school in a small town in Southern California. The school has traditionally been packet-based, with very little use of digital anything.
Dr. Stephen Pietrolungo, the principal here, is working diligently to move the school into the 21st century. This week, he outlined several fairly simple ways to integrate digital tools, inquiry-based learning, and critical consumption of information in his blog as a kick-off to our launch of the international Hour of Code.
I was scrolling through tumblr today and came across holtthink’s post, which posed an excellent question: “should we still have sympathy for teachers who don’t use technology” or “don’t get computers?” It’s a fair question, and one I’ve come across many times. I would argue that, yes, we need to have sympathy for these teachers and moreover, we need to provide them with appropriate, sustained support in learning to use and integrate new technologies into their classrooms.
I’ve been a teacher of some kind or another for about as long as I can remember. From reading to young kids with processing disorders to teaching ten-minute playwriting and producing festivals to tutoring middle and high school students for cash in college, I seem to always find myself in some kind of educator role. So when I became a teacher – and not a geneticist as I had planned – no one but me was surprised. “Of course you became a teacher,” everyone said. “You were teaching toddlers when you were three,” they said. “You were born a teacher,” they said. And I suppose they were right.