I take great glee in working on a regular basis with educators excited and serious about employing social media, blogging, and other web 2.0 tools in their classes. In fact, it seems to me that certain widely known tools are almost becoming part of the mainstream. The ongoing and meaningful leveraging of web technologies (at least in my parts) fills me with a certain degree of optimism.
I also know that our general mantra in #edtech discourse is to encourage teachers to try using the technology in spite of their own lack of comfort or familiarity. We often talk about the students leading the way, “let them teach us”, and so on.
I wonder if we’re being a little disingenuous when we sing that song for certain types of tech. I used to belt that tune all the time but now I’m pressing shuffle on my iPod. I think it’s one thing to say that not knowing GarageBand shouldn’t stop you from letting students use it in the classroom, but it may be another when you’re talking about digital footprinting. So, I’m wondering if it is a good idea for Kamal and Kerry to be blogging away when their teacher can’t recognize an embed code. Thus, I’m about to say something that may or may not be controversial.
If you’re going to be getting your students to post online, it behooves you to do the same.
I think this is something that seems obvious but is often overlooked; something of an elephant in some tech PD rooms. By no means am I positing that expertise in the area or, say, a high klout score preclude the use of it in your class. Rather, I’m putting forward the idea that co-learning involves us as the adults, well, co-learning, not co-watching.
I’m wondering if, since the online world as we know it now changes so fast and is overly nuanced, it is alright for us to be giving kids the keys to the SM and web 2.0 car without experience driving ourselves. It’s not that I think we always need to be two steps ahead of the students or that I suddenly share the view that online equals danger. Rather, I’m starting to think that it is only when you begin understanding how these tools fit into your own personal and/or professional life curriculum that you should even begin to integrate it into your class curriculum.
I would love your thoughts on this.