The problem with ‘New Convert Syndrome’ and why #BETT2015 left me deflated

Thinking back at Teachmeet, and BETT2015 in general, I think I figured out why it left me a bit sad for teachers nowadays.

BETT was full of technological innovation for education. So far so good-sounding. Of course much of the design of these innovations could be much improved with the use of open source platforms, rather than proprietary ones, and technological skills probably on the level my teenager has. But there’s much money and not much tech skills in education so let’s SELL SELL SELL. With every proprietary teaching innovation come teachers who have to learn new technology to do their jobs and kids who are affected by this.

My teenager’s experience of this, while still in school, was awful. Teachers trying to teach things they didn’t know. Using silly programs to teach ‘coding’ that didn’t really teach coding at all. I went in and had a chat with the ICT teacher who wasn’t from an ICT background but a journalist, so didn’t get it. I don’t know what the solution would have been, in the end we gave up.

Maybe Ipads are the solution for some of these things – at least documents can be shared instantly, and mountains of paperwork are eliminated. But then everyone goes on an app buying spree, and someone comes and shouts about AppSmashing and I can imagine teachers who aren’t technical go ‘oh wow’. Just the constant barrage of ‘innovation’ and the need to decide to either resist it (sometimes, fully sensibly) or run with it and subject yourself to a new learning curve must be so exhausting.

And the results are neither beautiful nor elegant.

Yeah, I’m glad I’m neither a teacher these days, or a kid, or having to deal with an intelligent kid seeing these things for what they are.


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