Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Things we need you to stop saying 4

I'm scheduled for a Tech conference.  This is one of the offerings:


I find this amazing, sad, depressing, and it pisses me off.

I find it amazing that any teacher doesn't know more about technology than students; decent and cheap personal computers that can play video and music and run Office software and play games, have been around for 20 something years now.  More basic machines like the TRS-80 and the PDP8 (with punch tape reader!) since the seventies.  The Internet has been a thing since '95 and smartphones since 2007.

What teacher doesn't know tech at this point? Are there really people that backwards and stupid who don't know Office, and video games and .... a concept of programming whether it's macros in word, Windows script, basic, html, php, javascript, excel .... Anything? Something? Do I know any of these people?

Yes, yes I do. And they're teachers.  That's the sad part. Sad because it seems like MOST of the teachers I deal with are technidiots. (Like that? I just made the word up.)

It's 2015 and this conference is charging $200 a day and this is the title of one hour's workshop and the title isn't considered odd or demeaning or out-of-place. That's depressing but not surprising.

Far too many teachers are STILL tech illiterate, even by comparison with their students.

Yes, I said it. The students are not "digital natives" endowed with magical tech-fu. They are mostly clueless about useful tech of all kinds. They're great at plugging in the computer and playing a video game, or installing Candy crush on their phones and mindlessly playing for hours, but that's not tech literate.  Sure, there are some who know more than I do, but not very many, and I'm not setting a particularly high bar.

So what pisses me off?

Holy shit!  I've been told that I can't teach unless I have certifications and continuing education in all forms of my field. I'm supposed to have lesson plans ready and write curriculum and proficiency based standards and differentiate my teaching.

Programming, apparently, doesn't require any of that.

Programming doesn't need expertise.

Programming is something the smart kid can teach for you.

Students helped with instruction and debugging. They addressed multiple languages and "no one knows the entire curriculum" and "all learn basics together".

What is this, an after school program at the Boys and Girls Club?

Teachers: Stop being idiots. Go learn how to program. Do your budget on Excel. Figure out how to center your words both vertically and horizontally in a Word document.

PD Leaders: Stop encouraging the technidiots.  It's not cute. It's not helpful, and we really need you to stop saying it.

1 comment:

  1. I am a tech idiot ...seriously. I teach math , advanced math ( course before Pre-Calc), Integrated1, Integrated 2, and good ol 8th grade math. And I am good at what I do. I enjoy your blog, as it is thought provoking.
    So where am I going wrong? I use graphing calculators and that is it! Why, Why , Why do I need to be a tech pro??!