Two questions have been floating around in my head this week: How can we determine whether a teacher is "technologically literate"? and Must all teachers be "technologically literate"?
The first question is the result of thinking about the second which was the central issue addressed in a post by Karl Fisch. In 2007, Karl Fisch, author of The Fischbowl and Director of Technology for Arapahoe High School in Littleton, Colorado, posted an essay entitled "Is It Okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?" His answer was: "If a teacher today is not technologically literate - and is unwilling to make the effort to learn more - it's equivalent to a teacher 30 years ago who didn't know how to read and write."
If we believe that all of our teachers must be, or rapidly become, "technology literate teachers", what is meant by that? I have posed this question to the students in the required educational technology class(EDM310) which I direct and teach (in part). I have asked them to respond in a wiki I have created called "techliterateteacher." I invite you to do so as well. If you have never used a wiki, follow the instructions that I have included on the first page of the wiki. The first page cannot be changed, but all others can be modified by any registered user. It is easy to register. A link is located on the upper left of the wiki.
Since the students in EDM310 are not "technology literate" when they begin the course (and probably not at the end of the course either), I have put together a series of videos, blog posts and other materials for them to read and watch as they seek to address the central question of what does it take to be a "technology literate teacher"? You may also find these materials beneficia. Currently they can be found in my EDM310 Class Blog for the Summer 09 semester but soon these materials will move to a blog of their own.
The second question, "Must all teachers be technologically literate?" seemed to me, at first, to be easily answered with a resounding "Yes!" But after some reflection, I now think it is a legitimate question which deserves serious consideration before I leap to an answer. So I invite you to ponder this question as well. Whatever our answer, I assure you that it is certain that all teachers will NOT become "technologically literate" in the near future. Maybe a better question would be "Should our goal be that all teachers become 'technologically literate'?"
So join me in thinking about these two questions. I have added an additional page on the wiki for the second question.