There are many promising topics in education: gamification, the maker movement, social media in the classroom and many more. From informal conversations with young people, it seems that they are very much in favor of exploring these new areas and incorporating them into their education. And yet, they seem to be slow in catching on. Why? To use a scientific term, I think that we, the educators of this world, are the limiting factor.
For example, when I ask most of the teachers I work with if they are on Twitter, they look at me like I'm crazy. They don't get it. I contend that Twitter is the best, free professional development available on the internet. It's so much more than what Kim Kardashian was up to today, though certainly you can follow her if you wish. By following great educators, you get the best of the best available in one easy feed. It's a place to also share your own experiences and get valuable feedback from your peers. That as true for teachers as it is for students. Unfortunately, though, many teachers shy away from that opportunity because it's unfamiliar to them. And when teachers shy away, their students miss out.
Well, that's what my gut tells me. I wonder how reflective of reality my perception really is. Perhaps that's something I will explore this summer in my qualitative methods course. It'd be interesting to interview teachers and students and collect survey attitudes on one or more of these topics. Then I could really see if there is a discrepancy in attitudes as I suspect. And if we are the limiting reactant, then what?