Saturday, October 20, 2012

It's The Artist That Matters 2.0!

I watched the video below by John Spencer after it was posted on a favorite blog that I read called, "Dangerously Irrelevant!"  Please take a moment and watch...

  As a self proclaimed technology enthusiast and an educator devoted to infusing technology into the classroom, I love the tools that are highlighted in the above video.  However, I think that the message is very important.  There is no tool that is going to "fix" education (I prefer improve rather than fix); however, in order to continually improve education those who educate must use the most powerful tools at their disposal.

There was a time when the pencil would have been considered the most powerful educational tool in the classroom; but, pencils used by students in a class with an exemplary teacher of writing have always been far more successful than pencils used in the classroom of a mediocre teacher of writing.  The same holds true for 21st century technology tools.  None of them will transform the learning.  If the teacher is inclined to learn the tools, work to master their effective use, and work to improve their teaching through these tools, the teacher and the tools will become exponentially more powerful. With a growth mindset, it stands to reason that appropriately implemented tools (even the pencil) can help the teacher become a more skilled educator.

We have all heard the cliche statement, "Technology is the means, not the end."  I would submit that this has become a cliche based upon that fact that it is 100% true.  I will always advocate for teachers having the most up-to-date, modern technologies at their disposal; however, those tools are simply window dressing if the teacher does not use them for the benefit of student learning.

So, the video points out that none of the modern technologies have or will "fix" education, which is a great deal to ask of any tool!  The only place where one hammer can build a house would be on Handy Manny.  In the real world it takes many tools wielded by skilled craftsman to erect that house.  We need to have faith in skilled teachers (artists) and provide them the tools (technology) to practice their craft (teaching and learning.)  This will transform education!
Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. Thanks for extending the conversation over here (and for the kind words about my blog). I wonder how many educators truly have a growth mindset? I meet many who don't...

    1. Scott,

      Thanks for the comment. I think the distinction between teacher and tool is very important. While I love technology, I would prefer an exemplary teacher with a chalkboard to a mediocre one with all the latest tech tools.

      I think that there are many educators who struggle with the growth mindset. It is easy and often comfortable to choose the alternative. However, I have seen great teachers who exemplify the former and those are the teachers who I want to hold up as models for all.


    2. In a technology-suffused information era, can you even be an 'exemplary' teacher without incorporating technology into what you do?

  2. Using art to educate is exactly what I happen to be working on. Check out my chemical gallery project