Welcome to the RM Blog. The purpose of this blog is to create a forum for an active conversation among graduate students, educators, researchers and anyone else involved in language, literacy and technology education. It is hoped that individuals who have an interest in these subjects will engage with each other to further contribute to these areas of discussion and offer personal and professional insights.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Should technology training be mandatory for teachers?

Most teachers believe that computers are beneficial in the classroom in terms of improving academic performance, motivation, and interest. Many also see the value in training. Surveys have consistently shown that there is a strong correlation between the number of hours of computer training teachers have had and their views on the benefits of computers. Our institution provides numerous opportunities to participate in various training sessions. However, should such training be mandatory? What should such training involve? Personally, I think as teachers we should be required to have a minimum set of skills and then be required to participate in additional workshops at least once or twice a year. My main reason for saying that is because while some of us do implement technology to teach skills or strengthen the presentation of a lesson, I question if we are using it to its full potential. I would like to know how to use it effectively when teaching a specific type of skill or lesson – not just in the form of a standard web page, PowerPoint presentation, word processing, or the available interactive exercises on the web. Don’t get me wrong. There is great value in the above. Some very good quality materials are available or are created by innovative teachers. However, I strongly support mandatory training in this area as part of our professional development. I’m all for training but the right kind of training. If you’ve participated in helpful workshops or have ideas for incorporating technology beyond these means for facilitating language development or literacy, let us know.