It has been great to hear everyone's successful and happy-go-lucky stories about the Intel Teach trainings, but what happens when a training bombs, and the instructor feels he/she has not a made a difference, all because the attendees "don't get it and their technology skills sets are so poor?" Yes this happened to me last week. I think I also cried all the way home, and kept beating my self up and asking how can there be so many educators in a designated area that are highly lacking computer 101 skills and have no clue about technology integration. I was so frustrated and exhausted from the 8 hour training, that I actually questioned my professional training and delivery skills, and asked myself what I am doing in education, and should I be pursuing a different line of work. Yes, it was that bad!
There are definitely concentrated pockets throughout the USA that the educators do not have a clue of how to use a computer effectively, how to search the Internet effectively, and how to create a tech infused lesson to motivate and engage students. In these same areas, the free and reduced lunch rates are sky rocket high. The Midwest area I work with range from 43%-78% of the poverty level. I really feel Intel Education needs to create an Intel Teach Elements 101 or introductory course to have in place to get these educators up to speed. It would also assist us as ST's and MT's to meet the needs of our educator learners/participants to customize their training to their technology literacy level, and at the same time stress the importance of technology literacy skill set development for all educators.
On another note, I presented a SMART Board workshop at the state convention this weekend, and 6 of the attendees did not know how to turn on the laptops that they brought with them from their school districts, 8 of the educators asked me what a "browser was'" and struggled to navigate through Internet windows, and 4 educators did not want to use the computer at all- and just sit and watch, because they "do not and will not use a computer in their classroom," :-( Now the word of the day was uuuggggggg! The remaining ten educators consisted of 4 pre-service teachers and 6 educators that just received a SMART Board in their classroom, and were genuinely excited to be there. To conclude- differentiation was the word of the day and I brought out my "patience bag" from my student teaching kindergarten era and proceeded to dip into it several times per hour for the entire day.
We say our kids are slipping through the cracks, when in all actuality our educators are slipping through the cracks at the same time. There needs to be a solution of an introductory level course to assist these high need educators. What is your solution to make a difference with the many issues I have posed above?
Stressed out in WI,