Yep, you heard it here first: educators are scared that digital teaching supports are going to innovate them right out of a job. I’m printing the entire statement below, because it’s too interesting not to:
The board of the National Education Association, which represents college faculty members in addition to elementary and secondary school teachers, on Friday approved a new statement on digital learning that is likely to be adopted as official policy for the union by its Representative Assembly in July. The policy, which applies to both K-12 and higher education:
- Endorses “hybrid” teaching — involving both technology and teachers — as the best approach. “Optimal learning environments should neither be totally technology free, nor should they be totally online and devoid of educator interaction,” the statement says.
- Calls for teachers to be centrally involved in decisions about how to use technology in classrooms.
- Says that “education employees should own the copyright to materials that they create in the course of their employment. There should be an appropriate ‘teacher’s exception’ to the ‘works made for hire’ doctrine, pursuant to which works created by education employees in the course of their employment are owned by the employee. This exception should reflect the unique practices and traditions of academia.”
- Urges policy makers to consider the extent to which increased reliance on technology for learning may exacerbate inequities in the education system.
Or, HELP US, for the LOVE of GOD, HELP US!!!
Not that their points aren’t valid, reasonable claims. It’s actually heartening to see educators stand up against the corporate educational behemoth that digital learning can be. It does surprise me that they need to put these statements into writing. Some of it seems to be laying the ground work for labor-based protections and IP ownership issues moving forward. Some of it is caution about inequalities.
Here’s the thing: there are always going to be inequities in the US system as long as decisions are made according to local budgets and local districts. Here’s another thing: for those who could get their tushes to a local library, learning has always been free and available for the self-motivated. Many students are not. I see the role of the teacher in the future needing to more actively entice students to eat their cognitive peas, a challenge in a world of endless fun online.