Ryan Bretag, the Director of Technology at neighboring Glenbrook North, presented with David Jakes this past weekend at EduCon. During their session, Ryan stated:
I’m one that believes teachers should be actively engaged in most of the things they bring into the classroom especially when it comes to various pieces of participatory media. For example, I tend to see blogging as critical for teachers to be actively engaged with if they are to expect their students to do it.
In his most recent blog post, Teacher’s First, he was reflecting about the comment from a virtual guest, as shared by Paul Norwood, that:
“Does a flight controller need to be a pilot to land planes or does a sports radio host need to play sports to discuss sports?”
I want to acknowledge that it was I who responded with the fact that I am not sure that we require air traffic controllers to have landed airplanes before they do their job. I also used as an example that we don’t ask circus ringmasters to have been shot from a cannon, fly on the trapeze, or be in the lion cage before doing their tasks.
In all cases, air traffic controller, ring master, and teacher, one needs to have the wisdom to manage and guide others while managing the chaos that sometimes occurs in each of these different arenas.
Some of the teachers who do some of the most interesting work integrating technology into the learning (teaching) environments do not have a full understanding of how the technology and all of the items “behind the curtain” work. What they do have is a great understanding of the experiences that they want their students to have, thought out essential questions, and realization that these new tools, while they may not completely understand them, provide a level of student learning and engagement that they were unable to achieve using more traditional means.
That said, to have an awareness of the power of the tool, they do not need to blog. They have to know what a blog is, and they have to understand the power of the connections that can happen as a result. It does not matter whether they gain that through blogging themselves, through reading and commenting on blogs, or trusting respected colleagues, mentor, or guides.
The important thing is that they simply choose the route which is best for themselves, have confidence in their ability to mentor and manage learners along the journey.