Saturday, July 09, 2011

Question of the Day: Connection -- Is it a professional responsibility?

Today's question of the day: Should teachers be expected to provide their own 3G device and connection as a professional requirement even if their school does not support them to do so?

(i.e. Do you see it as a professional responsibility that teachers provide and pay for their own way to connect from anywhere if their school will not?)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. It certainly Is a professional responsibility for teachers to connect with their peers using a variety of tools, including wireless devices. However, don't hold your breath waiting for schools to pay for it.

    Unfortunately, in the US, we have this tradition of expecting teachers to pay for most if not all of their professional development, both in terms of time and money. I don't see that changing just because we have a wider circle of opportunities.

  2. If I could make one major change, it would be in how we allocate resources. Giving teachers a stipend for technology each year would allow them to purchase the technology mix that works for them. Have minimum technology expectations (such as a 3G wireless phone, for example) and then let the teachers decide. This is the model that is used in much of higher Ed.

  3. I don't see having a cell phone as a professional requirement. If the school wants you to have a cell phone for field trips or to be reachable anywhere on campus, then they should provide it.

    If you want it for your own convenience, you should provide it.

    I believe that schools should provide teachers with a computer and (unfiltered) internet connectivity, but this does not mean that they have to provide laptops, iPads, cell phones, or whatever other technotools the teacher wants.

    If the teacher makes a convincing case that a particular tool is essential for their classroom, they should be able to buy it out of the same budget used for lab equipment, computers, whiteboards, textbooks, and other teaching tools. In California, this means not buying anything, since those budgets have been zeroed out in most school districts, to reduce the number of layoffs.

  4. I don't see it as a professional responsibility. Then again, I'm okay teaching without paper as well. If the school really won't provide internet, there's still a ton we can do with programs and apps. I'll bust out some old computers, use Linux and then have kids use their smart phones.

    Besides, I don't own a cell phone. I earn about 40 grand a year. I can't afford to pay for a ton of equipment (internet included).

  5. In an age where, more often than not, teachers are being compared to corporate professionals, the question of whether we should be expected to provide our own technology is laughable. A company that wants its employees on tap 24/7 for the convenience of clients and/or colleagues and/or employer, provides that technology to its employees. Just as Google does not expect its employees to show up with their own laptop, neither should a school.

  6. it is not my professional responsibility to provide connection to the network/Internet. It is a schools Districts responsibility to provide connection and a device to get connected. Unfortunately that is done at a minimum of 1 network connection and one desktop. I wish schools did more with connection (wifi campus) and devices (laptop for teacher & a few for each classroom) If you want connection anywhere, that will have to be up to you (unless you have an in with the tech crew. I bought my own wireless router & switches & used desktops to get more devices/connectivity for students. They have since replaced my wireless with a school one and are now going school wifi. Devices we are still talking about.

  7. Great question. I think it's unfair to expect teachers, whose income is often half that of those in the corporate world, to have a lot of tech, unless it is something they desire.

    That said, I think that any teacher who does not have a minimal amount of connection, even if it's a laptop provided by the school, is at a disadvantage for themselves as well as for their students.

    I would love to see every teacher in every school with a school-issued laptop.


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