Friday, April 26, 2013

On: 8 Characteristics of a Great Teacher

Over at, I read a post called "8 Characteristics of a Great Teacher".  It was a well written piece, dealing with everything from confidence to how the great teachers choose to spend their time.  As a tech guy and former teacher, one of the characteristics caught my eye:

5.  They're Technologically Capable

Let's not belabor this point, after all, plenty of ink (or pixels as the case may be!) has already been spilled on this topic.  As time passes, the statement "But I'm not very good with ________." (fill in the blank with any number of technological devices) is sounding ever more like "But I'm not very good with a telephone."

The only time the sentiment above is acceptable is if it's followed immediately by "...but I'm very willing to learn!"  After all, we wouldn't accept such weak rationalizations from students regarding their work.  In 2013, as a profession, we lose credibility every time we allow excuses like this to go unchallenged.  Enough said.

The reason this caught my eye is because I still hear this as the prevailing "reason" why teachers aren't using technology or even allowing students to use it in their disciplines.

I'd like to know what you think about it.  Please post in the comments below.


  1. This one made me smile because often I find myself saying (to students mostly), "I've never even heard of ______ (newest techno gizmo app being used)." Ha! (So much for "But I'm not good at ____.") The speed with which new tech tools are introduced is incredible, keeping up is insane, but, boy, doesn't it make a student feel cool when they get to show the teacher something new! And all we have to do is ask!

    1. It's definitely a moving target! Keeping up with everything is impossible. That's why attitude and willingness to learn is key. People always say that one of the most important things we do for our students is to model what we want. If we want them to be life long learners, capable of dealing with change, we have to be willing to learn. Letting them show us the things that might work for a project or assignment is a great way to keep up with things while also demonstrating the flexibility to learn new tools that we want students to have.

      Great comment! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!