Wanted: one epiphany

I often hear tech-loving educators say that for teachers to really start using technology in their classroom, the teacher has to first have an experience with technology that is personal and meaningful. Often these educators have had a transformative experience themselves in which some aspect of technology, like blogging or Second Life, provided a professional re-awakening.

Saved by the bellBecause their own professional flame was rekindled in this way, they assume that all other teachers must have a similar experience to follow in that path. To me, however, professional development that requires a personal transformative experience seems unscalable.

Sylvia

3 Replies to “Wanted: one epiphany”

  1. I agree 100%.
    These folks have whiff of zealotry about them. I’ve been converted, now you must, too.
    Many teachers who eventually will start using technology, or ultimately leave or never enter the profession, must adopt technology first on a personal, private basis; internalizing it just ever so much.
    I think they’ll do that by engaging with the tech integrator at school or a peer or child at home. They’llwatch while their colleagues ‘model’ integration, and eventually, perhaps REALLY grudgingly integrate technology into their pedagogy.
    Thanks for the opportunity to share.
    -Skip

  2. Unscalable? hmmm. How so?
    Any truly transformative change innitiative I have ever been involved in incorporated personal stories.
    In order to change behaviour the new behaviour needs to somehow be something we want to do – to somehow be connected to our beliefs and values.
    We can go about knocking people on the head with PD on tech (or any other initiative), but until we can connect to something on a personal level – it ain’t taking. I have seen this happen when working with school communities on different initiatives.
    If this is the case, how can we afford not to make those connections?

  3. I think your use of “re-awakening” is apt. I think these epiphanies help people become unstuck, towards goals that perhaps they half-forgot they had, but that is different than changing people’s approach to or philosophy of education completely. I’m sure that happens sometimes, but less often than you’d think by listening to technology advocates talking about themselves.

    Put another way, no technology epiphany is going to change a bad teacher into a good one.

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