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TECH TYPECASTING

Minnesota school technology director (and former Teacher columnist) Doug Johnson reacts to an essay written by a fellow school technologist entitled "When Teachers Don't Get It." In reality, Johnson writes, it's the techies that don't get it--"it" being what teachers have to do these days:

The name of the game today is accountability. I have state standards to which I must teach. There are state tests that students must pass. Technology is not mentioned in either of these. My goals as a teacher are to make sure my students master the curriculum and pass state tests. My job depends on me meeting these goals. Until technology skills are either a part of our standards or are tested, they will remain a means to an end, not the end itself, as much as this may disappoint you. And until technology proves more efficient or effective than traditional methods in helping me meet these goals, it will be a method I may in good conscience choose not to employ.

Johnson also offers a bit of advice to other well-intentioned techies: "Teachers are not overly fond of being compared to children. It's not a way to win teacher friends... when two people have different educational priorities or opinions, it does not make one an adult and the other a child."

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