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Read a Post for Teachers, Not Technicians: Rethinking Technical Expectations for Teachers
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Technology versus curriculum

Posted By: John Armerding on November 24, 2005
I completely agree. I just finished the teaching program at Western Washington University. I was required to take two moronic classes on computer technology in order to get my credential. We demonstrated an ability to use Word, Excel, Powerpoint, graphics editors, etc; as well as identified the parts of a computer. My background? I design web pages as a hobby for various non-profit organizations. I also build and upgrade my own computers as well as troubleshoot hardware and software problems for myself and for friends.

I could have used two quarters of class designed to help me integrate computers into my math curriculum, instead I wasted two quarters proving that I knew how to do stuff I have been doing for years. The one class that I could have taken that would have been useful was an elective and I couldn't fit it into my schedule.

Then, to make matters worse, I had to do it again at my school district in order to "qualify" for technical support. Not show how I could use technology in the curriculum but show that I could send email, create word documents, identify the parts of a computer. When I asked if I could get it waived since we had just taken the class, they wanted to see the syllabus and samples of my work. Told me that they sometimes waived the program for people with a Masters in Technology Instruction. It was easier just to complete the program.

It appears to me that these curricula are designed by folks who still think that most students don't know anything about computers, and who think that the cookie cutter, one size fits all ability to use graphics manipulation programs and powerpoint are what is most needed in a teaching career. I wanted to know what I could do in a math classroom, not how to create better Word documents or clever powerpoint presentations.

What's the solution? I don't know. I don't know who makes these decisions and I don't know how to affect them. Sure would like to see it though.
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 Technology versus curriculum by John Armerding on November 24, 2005
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