admin | 30 September, 2010 19:18
While taking the Web 2.0 course, I wrote the following response to a teacher, but then retracted it on the forum and posted it here, debating whether it really fits in the course forum. The teacher was talking about taking a combined Media Literacy/Instructional Technology Master’s degree, and I had the following thoughts:
Keep working on the combo degree. Not only does it look bleak for our County getting Instructional Technology teachers in elementary schools, the current plan is to morph our Middle School positions to be Integration Specialists sometime in the not too distant future. However, with all the changes in education nowadays, including being able to vote for board members, and all the talk about new contracts in Baltimore City, who knows what will happen.
Other districts I’ve been in do have ITs in the Elementary schools, and they do there what we do in Middle Schools. I have mixed feelings about morphing our positions. I see the need for Integration Specialists, such as my colleague in the building does, as it provides an invaluable resource to teachers. However, I also see the need for the basic skills like keyboarding, Office skills, presentation skills, etc. to be taught as they will need those for the world of work. If they were getting those skills in elementary classrooms, in middle schools we could focus on the students applying those skills (higher level thinking) to their course subjects. However, without the IT’s in elementary schools, they have to depend on teachers who can squeeze in time the labs that are utilized more and more for testing and remediation. Therefore, the kids come to us with varied skills.
So my thoughts were that so long as the kids are getting the basics either at the elementary level or in Middle School, we’ll be able meet the mandates of NCLB (No Child Left Behind) to make students tech literate by 8th grade. And I truly don’t understand how our district can do away with our specialty particularly with the increased focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).
But the teachers getting their dual degree are smart. Hope they continue!