Teachers and Technology

My last post included the picture above around my thoughts about what makes a well rounded teacher in the 21st Century. I put the word Technology in the circle without defining exactly what that means. It was great to see commenters pick up on this fact. My point in doing this (I think) was to look at how we define technology when we talk about teaching.

There is:

  • Technology as a tool
  • Technology skills
  • The use of technology
  • Technology terminology
  • Technology as a teaching device
  • Technology as a learning device
  • (and I’m sure more)

When we talk about technology as it refers to teachers, I believe we can only define what it is we are looking for based off of where our school is with the adoption of technology in all of the above categories. I can tell you what I want teachers to do at my school, but that is going to be different from what I expect teachers to know/do at a school that is 1:1. Or a school that does not have an LCD in every classroom and mobile labs. Each school is unique and each school administrator must come to an understanding of what they want their teachers to be able to know and do.

As I talked to a couple administrators this past weekend about technology and the hiring of teachers I encouraged all of them to stop asking the question “Can you give me an example of how you integrate technology?”

The question has become a standard part of any interview, and at this point in time I believe every teacher candidate that is looking for a job has their response already thought out and can tell you that one great lesson they do that integrates technology on some level.

What I believe administrators need to do is start asking questions that get to a deeper level of both the teachers comfort level with technology and the skills and beliefs they have around its use in the classroom as a learning device. It is OK to listen to a story about how a teacher integrates technology around these question as long as you know what you should be listening for (more on this later).

We all integrate technology right? (I assume so if you are reading this blog…if not please Skype me…we need to talk!)

If administrator ask questions that allow them to understand a teacher’s beliefs and skill set around technology, then they can find what they are looking for as a ‘fit’ for their school.

One thing is for sure, with as much focus and money schools spend on technology it cannot be a bonus question when looking for teacher candidates. It has to be just what we do.

[tags]interview questions[/tags]

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