Are they valued for their learning of the material or their ability to learn and develop skills, connections alongside the curriculum — is there a value in kids being good at video games or writing a blog?
It seems generally reasonable to suggest that a teacher who is more aware of the patterns, variations of learning and instruction, can be more effective.
Fox (1983) includes the following as being helpful to learners (in the context of professional development).
“Shaping theories, where the instructor shapes the learning of the learner. Transfer theories that consider how knowledge is passed to the learner. Travelling theories that put the instructor in the role of a guide to the learner and Growing theories where the learners mind is nurtured by the provision of an appropriate environment.”
Fox,D (1983) ‘Personal theories of teaching’, Studies in Higher Education, pp 151-63.
The use of ‘new (hate that term) technology’ is often the degree to which the teacher sees themselves as a life long learner who continues to notice, make sense of, find meaning and uses of resources and networks available to them.
Anyone who cannot see the enormous digital world around them, simply can’t begin to value the knowlege learners develop along side the curriculum inside networks, mobiles and games.
It is these teachers who really need to clarify exactly why their approach relates to today’s world better – without socially connected technologies.
Those who lead learners as Fox suggested 27 years ago, needn’t justify their methods and practices to those denying their importance.
The great thing about stretching learners in digital space is that each time they exercise, they burn a little less and push forward more – as life long learning individuals.