I was reading over Mike Bogle’s article last night and it resonated with thoughts I have been having about teacher play time-or teacher recess as I will begin to refer to it. As a tech integrator it is often frustrating to see teachers reluctant to embrace technology into their classes therefore not allowing their students to take advantage of all the great web 2.0 apps out there. But can we blame them? I see one major area (not to say this is the only one-there are lots more) where we as tech integrationists and as schools as a whole fall short. We don’t set aside time for teachers on a daily basis to be able to “Play”. By this I am not referring to the typical prep period a teacher has which is already full due to their planning, preparation, and grading necessary to maintain their 20th century style classrooms (that is not a typo, it DOES say 20th century). What I am implying is a time set aside everyday for them to develop and maintain a personal learning network and to develop learning passion(s). In our current model, this does not exist. How could it though? What structure within the current model of “school” would have to change in order to facilitate this “teacher recess”. We know young kids need recess throughout the day to give their bodies a chance to release and their brains a chance to absorb so why not teachers? These are questions I hope to flush out in future postings as I see it crucial to the central ideas of lasting, enduring, and most important, self perpetuating professional development for k-12 teachers. From Mike’s article
As Kelly Christopherson from Educational Discourse discusses: “I worry that the gap between the “users” and “non-users” will widen because teachers who are full-time classroom teachers don’t have the time to work with these resources. Even tech-savvy educators find it difficult to keep up with the conversations and the tool-sharing because they don’t have time to take in all that is happening or become part of the constant conversation that takes place. Being a follower [on Twitter], the exchange of information is wonderful but it is very fast, always constant, without form and too large to backtrack. Those who have the time are building the networks, others who are being introduced are trying but, I’ve noticed, many fall away because they don’t have the time to keep up with the conversations.”
Mike goes on to say in the beginning of his article
“Educators who have the expertise, established peer networks, and available time to devote to interacting via these means are afforded the exposure to countless peers and colleagues. Importantly these peer networks often serve as filters for locating relevant information and worthwhile resources, as well as discursive forums for brainstorm their value and use.
Those without these networks, expertise and/or time however are in a much different position in which the sheer masses of available information are preventatively overwhelming and in many cases come to represent a barrier to uptake and professional development.”
Educators with available time…Hmmm. I would love feedback as to how your educational organization whether it be higher ed, K-12, or business affords your staff time to develop their personal learning. All staff professional development sessions where you talk about setting up a net reader do not count. More to come on this.