After watching the YouTube video and reading the blog at http://weblogg-ed.com/2010/teachers-as-master-learners/ I was left with a feeling of inadequacy. Will Richardson did make me rather confused. Which is a good thing… it is the root of curiosity and the basis of all education.
Schools would not exist were it not for the need to educate the populus and to create better citizens. It is ironic to me that the system of education in our country has backed itself into a corner where we nearly need to reinvent the wheel in order to keep from restraining our students rather than educating them. As technology has advanced the system of education has not adopted and progressed as quickly. In order to keep trying to create responsible citizens we have ignored nearly all of the problem. The problem being ignored is being responsible technological citizens. People and students are greatly unaware of the rewards and repercussions of being a responsible citizen.
Students are not allowed to use technology on a gigantic scale due to teachers being unable to monitor and support students. Teachers often discriminate against using technology because of their own teaching paradigms.
Mr. Richardson calls for teachers to become model students for our own students. We need to teach our students to learn by setting a positive example in the digital community and by accessing resources beyond what we could find in a traditional educational environment.
There are two problems that are forefront in the use of technology in the classroom. First and foremost is being able to protect our students. There are many things in a digital environment that we need to protect our students from, whether it is a cyber bully or simple misinformation teachers must understand and lead the way in order to protect our students. Parents need to be made aware that in order to best prepare his or her sons and daughters we must allow them to use the tools they need to be successful. They need to be aware of the benefits and costs of internet access in order to help protect their students. Second, school districts are stuck in their ways and are very hesitant to change even if it is for the benefit of all students. My own district blocks several sites rather than teaching students to be responsible citizens. Many of the blocked sites have great educational opportunities such as WordPress and Twitter.
To teach is this era is tremendously challenging. We as teachers must balance content, delivery and methods in order to ensure each student has the best chance to fully develop. This means that we all need to greatly broaden our own horizons and take chances. We must lead our students as master learners. We must allow ourselves to be confused.