Monday, October 4, 2010

New is the Old New ... whatever.

Some years ago, Dan said
"The suspicion just creeps over me every coupla months or so that the constant introduction of new tools has left your average, well-meant educator a permanent amateur, able to save some time for herself using these tools, unable to do anything better. And since we're all in that same state, there exists very little peer pressure towards excellence, excepting occasional posts from certain School 2.0 curmudgeons."
 Add to that the constant introduction of "New and Improved" (read: different interface entirely) versions of the software we all depend on. In my career, I've gotten used to 13 different versions of Word which were mostly compatible with each other but only in one direction. Add to that, a couple of WordPerfects which were far superior to Word but the schools always used Word, so I had to change or suffer the incompatibility.

It's the same with a host of other software. I frankly don't see how most people keep up with it AND with the constant drumbeat of "better" ways to teach math. Throw in operating systems, schools behind the tech curve and the cost of software - and "Don't you dare install FOSS on your school computer.  That stuff is loaded with viruses."

Web 2.0 is little different. I've gone through three different blogging platforms so far -- fortunately they are roughly similar but they are constantly being bought, sold and changed.  The paradigm is changing monthly ... do you use blogs, forums, moodles, chat, text, email, IM, Skype?  Do you have any idea what your passwords are if you don't have them stored in your browser?  How do you circumvent the school filter to show YouTube video? (Me? I download the video and play it with VideoLAN.  Don't tell IT.)

Apparently, the only way to be a teacher nowadays is to be a tech expert.

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