FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Ultimate Teaching Device Identified
Tampa, FL (September 26, 2019) After years of testing, the Florida Center for Satirical Research has determined that the ultimate teaching device is not the celebrated Infotroneks 2000 adopted by many leading school districts.
FILE PHOTO: Infotroneks 2000 reduces distractions by isolating students from each other and eliminating real world connections.
Top researchers at FCSR have confirmed that—much to the surprise of school districts across the nation—the most effective teaching device was, in fact, the classroom teacher. Shocked Superintendent of the Consolidated Independent School District said, “Wow! Who would have thought?” Other district leaders echoed similar responses.
Lead researcher, Dr. Justin Credible, reported that in toe-to-toe matchups, teachers outpaced the Infotroneks in every category except electrical consumption.
Clara Sabell, Director of Professional Development at nearby Summwhot Unified School District seemed less surprised at the discovery. “We’ve always suspected that the teacher was an important element in technology integration. It’s about time we put as much emphasis on preparing teachers to use technology well as is currently put on the shiny devices themselves.”
We smile at a silly cartoon computer that somehow ingests textbooks and transmits the content directly into students’ heads. And yet there are few among us who have not at one time or another looked at a piece of classroom technology and thought, “Wouldn’t be great if we had these in every classroom.” Well, maybe. But only if teachers are prepared to implement the new tech in pedagogically-significant ways.
We’re a technology center. We LOVE technology. And we love student-centered classrooms. Nothing thrills me more than observing classrooms where students are completely engaged, managing their own work, smoothly collaborating with others, and using new tech much faster than my old brain can comprehend.
So how do we get there?
It’s a bit counterintuitive, but the only way to get to a tech-rich, student-centered classroom is by taking a teacher-centered route. None of the good stuff can happen until we put our teachers first. That’s why our approach to technology has always emphasized professional development over gadgets and gizmos.
At the core of our approach to professional development is the Technology Integration Matrix, or TIM for short. The TIM respects the teacher. Using the TIM as a foundation for your PD will help teachers to design lessons and create learning environments based on proven pedagogical strategies. Teacher-led, student-centered, technology-enhanced. Getting the order right makes all the difference. “Technology-led” is a recipe for disaster.
And for those of you who are TIM Tools clients, we’ve just added an additional support for your professional development efforts. Some PD works great in a group, but everyone can use individual coaching or mentoring in addition. The TIM-C is the latest addition to the TIM Tools line-up. Use the TIM-C to support and document your school or district’s coaching efforts. At the individual level, the TIM-C will help teachers to set goals and plan activities to reach those goals with the help of their coach or mentor. School or district leadership will be able to get a better picture of coaching activity across their institutions and, as coaching cycles accumulate, begin to identify recurring topics that teachers wish to address.
Never forget that successful technology integration starts with the Ultimate Teaching Device. And they come in so many different styles!
Roy Winkelman is a 40+ year veteran teacher of students from every level kindergarten through graduate school. As the former Director of FCIT, he began the Center's focus on providing students with rich content collections from which to build their understanding. When not glued to his keyboard, Dr. Winkelman can usually be found puttering around his tomato garden in Pittsburgh.