By Will Richardson

So, how ironic is this quote from a recent eSchoolNews article?

“Now that teachers know more, they’re more skittish, so to speak, about using the internet in the classroom,” she said. “Students say things were better [for them] a few years ago.”

Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around? Isn’t it supposed to be that the more that teachers know and use a technology, any technology, they should be more pedagogically prepared to use that technology in the classroom?

There’s obviously something wrong with this picture, and it’s really not that hard to figure out. Whatever these teachers are being taught about the Internet doesn’t have much to do with learning. And with the Web becoming such a powerful and important tool in all of our lives, our students are the ones that are suffering from that deficit.

No doubt, Sheryl and I are looking forward to using this blog as a way to deepen some conversations regarding educators’ contextual and practical understanding of the Web and its potentials. And this article is a great jumping off point, I think, because it speaks to much of what is wrong with the we prepare teachers to teach and to learn with technology and specifically with social Web tools. Obviously, both of us feel these tools are transformative and that it’s imperative that we begin to explore the ways in which we can collaborate and co-create and form powerful networks of learners around our passions. We will be sharing the ways in which the 700 or so teachers in this year’s Powerful Learning Practice cohorts are beginning to understand that both for themselves and for their classrooms. And we’ll be sharing our own conversation about how we try to understand the significance and implications of networks and communities of learning for our schools.

Suffice to say, if we keep creating teachers who are skittish about the Internet, we’re never going to be able to prepare our kids for their futures. Stay tuned, and thanks for reading.

(Photo Union College by saibotregeel.)

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Sheryl is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Powerful Learning Practice. She works with schools and districts from around the world helping them to infuse technology into their curriculums and by leading other digital conversion efforts. Sheryl also consults with governments, educational organizations and non-profits in development of their various professional learning initiatives. Sheryl is a sought-after presenter at national and international events, speaking on topics related to digital and online learning, teacher and educational leadership, online community building, and other educational issues impacting children of poverty. Sheryl served on the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Board of Directors for six years. She co-authored The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age with Lani Ritter Hall. Sheryl has four children and four grandsons, Luke, Logan, Levi and Tanner and a trio of dachshunds. You can find out more on her blog and on Twitter @snbeach.

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