Monday, March 01, 2010

Technological nomads

I have been reflecting on my time as a facilitator and have noticed that you have to have a certain temperament to be good at this job. I think I have finally developed this temperament now. It has a lot to do with patience and caring.

When you work with people (teachers) there are often a lot of things that come into play. A lot of teachers are frightened and threatened by being faced with something they are unfamiliar with. In the past teachers have always been the holder of all knowledge, the supreme authority, the buck stops there ! With our wonderful new curriculum we are encouraged to be learners, to admit we don't know and then embark on finding out with enthusiasm.

There is one type of teacher that I work with a lot and it makes me wonder about how far we have come down the track of letting go of authority and embracing learning. I have called these teachers the technological nomads.

They kNOw nothing and they get MAD at you :)

I'm okay at working with these teachers now as I can smile and lead them gently until they understand and feel familiar and less threatened. But I wonder what would we do as teachers if our students did the same thing? Is that student who is struggling with reading coming to mind now? Those struggling students who play up all the time and display aggression?

Anyway, just my thoughts... How do you cope with the technological nomad?

6 comments:

Hamish said...

Hi Jane,
I too have the pleasure of supporting Nomads with e learning. I have in the past been very frustrated and angry with the attitude of " why do we have to do this" and " what is the bare minimum and be done with it". I agree with you that teaching teachers is way harder than teaching students. We are a knowledgenet school and I am leading the development of the system which has been trying but slowly the resistance is diminishing and the Nomad staff are searching me out to help. There is an end in sight :)

MsBee said...

But if we keep modelling, sharing, making times in meetings and most of all, get the kids articulating how these approaches help their learning - there has to be a change and/or shift, doesn't there. My biggest discussion is around the use of ICT as a tool that motivates and "means something" to our kids. We need to kill the blogs that are just another display space for teachers... this use is another pressure on the nomads... The thought of virtual classroom walls can be the final straw for these teachers. They need to be modelled effective pedagogy using these tools...

Jane Nicholls said...

Glad to see we are all so positive :) Claire you raise a very interesting point "We need to kill the blogs that are just another display space for teachers". What a controversial statement! It shows how far we have moved and just how much more scary this stuff is for the nomads. Remember when this statement was about killing powerpoint being used for presentations? This brings back to mind that ICT is transformative. It's not just doing the same stuff a different way, it's about the ability to do completely different stuff !

Jamin Lietze said...

Hi Jane :-)
What a challenge we often face with our beloved Nomads (as you refer to them). They are our colleagues and we do love them although it can be hard work at times. I read a poster today that said something like "Don't build a fire beneath someone but build it within them to warm them." Now I probably didn't quote that very well but it does remind me of the two ways we can cause others to move and I would suggest that we start with th later first however if that doesn't work maybe th first option needs to be carefully and respectively considered. Just a thought...

Paul McKenzie said...

Hi Jane, I work with Nomads too and have found over the years that once you get them onside and savvy they often end up being among your closest friends and advocates. I'm on the international scene where teachers tend to become your mates anyway. So, with this experience I came to my new school in Serbia as the Technology Integration Specialist and my wife, the Library Media Specialist. As predicted we frightened and maddened a lot of teachers at first and pretty much all of the elementary staff are good friends and allies now :)

Now that I'm working on the Middle School and a 1:1 Laptop teacher preparation program, of course I'm taking a bit of flack these days. No doubt these naysayers will see the light soon enough and I'll have bunch of bbq's to attend by the time the course is over ;) You really have to have a thick skin for this job, but I love it.

Learn Spanish abroad said...

Good blog! I actually love how it is easy on my eyes as well as the details are well written. I am wondering how I could be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which really should work! Have a good day!