Saturday, July 19, 2008

Who Drives 21st Century Learning? Technology or Curriculum?

I just looked at our Professional Development calendar put together for the school year.  My immediate reaction is.........where are the 21st Century Skills that we all keep saying are so important?  Then I saw the day in January labeled Technology PD where the Technology Team is the responsible party.  (I put together tech training in Jan every year for one full day)  And at the end of the school year, there are another 2 full days of 'tech training' where the tech team is responsible.  Now don't get me wrong, I think 3 full days of 'tech' professional development is awesome. it really the technology department's role to determine what this should be?  

We don't have the role of a curriculum integration person in our district.  We have the curriculum coordinator, and the technology director (me).  Curriculum includes everything except anything that includes a computer, the web, multi-media, electronic communications, ........the standards in....reading, writing, math, science and social studies.  We promote the importance of 21st Century skills and are full of all the related buzzwords.  However,  the Technology Team decides upon 3 full days of tech training that is needed.  This tech training is the only "21st Century Skills"  training that will be on the schedule. Anyone other than me see the problem with this picture?!?  

I'm frustrated and frazzled and wish others would see the value in looking at the curriculum in a holistic manner with 21st Century Skills AND technology.  WHY does it have to be separate!? 
If we really want to successfully prepare our students for this future we don't know, then we need to stop treating technology as this separate entity unless we are truly speaking of specific hardware, software and infrastructure.  If we are talking about it the context of student learning, then it needs to be all in one, one in all.  

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