There are standards for every area of teaching. As an elementary teacher teaching in the primary grades there are standards to be met in reading, writing, mathematics, science social studies and our newest undertaking at TAS, character education. To be honest, most of a my energy is put into meeting the standards in language arts and mathematics. After that, I work on accomplishing our science goals and then our character education focus. For a variety of reasons, meeting the NETS*T (National Education Technology Standards for Teachers) does not have the same weight as meeting my language arts and mathematics standards.
“…not my job” – heard echoing through the halls of every elementary school.
Why don’t teachers have the same motivation to meet these standards? One reason for this, and admittedly it is not a good excuse, is that we “send” our kids to separate and isolated IT/IL (Information Technology & Information Literacy) classes every two weeks. I believe that many teachers see this as taking the responsibility off of themselves for meeting the NETS*T standards. There is a feeling that this is “not my job” to meet these standards since it is not in the scope of being a homeroom teacher. This is not a valid excuse.
In the past, having large numbers of computers in each classroom was cost prohibitive for schools. Several of my previous schools had one small lab where students were dropped off and picked up an hour later. Computer class was a stand-alone lesson with a computer teacher and the homeroom teacher had little input and frankly probably didn’t care. With computer:student ratios only getting higher and higher the responsibility to at least be aware of the NETS standards is something that can no longer be ignored. With the growing number of computers in the classroom, homeroom teachers need to be aware of the NETS*T and NETS*S standerds. It is no longer solely the domain of the IT/IL teacher to know about and implement the NETS*T standards. We all have a growing responsibility to give our students the proper skills and tools they need to become productive digital citizens.