Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Struggling to Stay Relevant

Or, as I like to call it... curriculum development.

I had an interesting discussion with my carpool buddy today, and the subject hovered around the struggle to keep our jobs, mostly metaphorical and relative to the world as a whole.  We, as teachers, face a rapidly differentiating majority: students who have literally grown up with technology and entertainment and pop culture, and parents/educators/generally old "farts" who have grown up with landline phones and books and celebrities that mattered.

How do we narrow the gap between "digital natives"and "digital immigrants?"  I say, it must be curriculum development!  Now, I have little to no experience in this area, but I have always been keen on the subject.  I had a little introduction to it while getting my initial teacher certification, but I really have not seen it or experienced firsthand until my school began working on Maine Course Pathways.  We've been developing syllabi for about a year and a half, but I'm not sure how integrated these syllabi are with our curriculum.  Nor do I know how integrated/aligned each syllabus is with a coworker's syllabus (same or different discipline).

And so, with the start of my second grad semester at UMaine, I hope to keep my science classes (and myself) relevant and tangible to the students that must suffer through them.


  1. As a barefooter myself, I loved your title. I have had students go home and tell parents that I was barefoot(socks only) in school that day. I also related to your technology comments as I am and old "fart" who loves technology and that sometimes seems to surprise many of the people I work with. As a middle school teacher with fantastic access to technology, it seems foolish not to use it especially when that is what students spend their time doing anyway. I have no fear of learning from them and they delight in teaching me what I don't know! It needs to become an integrated part of the curriculum as long as we get to keep it.

  2. Good insights into several essential curriculum questions...as they relate to your current work in curriculum.

    I'm not sure about this digital native stuff. Sure we have kids who know how to text, use their phones, and spend way too much time on Facebook...but does any of that matter? What can they learn from their teachers at school...and how does that connect with technology?