Sure, You’re Resilent, but Should You Have to Be?
Resilience, persistence, patience, and sacri;ce. ;ese are the qualities of the great educators who are blazing a trail to the digital age. I think
you know the type: the teacher who plans a great digital
lesson only to ;nd out the network is too slow to carry out
the task. Or the librarian who wants to show students a
useful website but realizes the site is blocked. Or the tech
coordinator who reserves the computer lab for professional development and discovers six of 12 desktops have
out-of-order signs on them. And yet, using workarounds
and ingenuity, these educators pull o; their lessons with
aplomb. Perhaps you are one of them?
Bill Ferriter is one. And, quite frankly, he’s tired of it.
In a post on the Education Week Teacher website, Ferriter
suggests that it’s time educators demand access to working
devices and strong internet connections. ;e post “Our
Never-Ending Reliance on Digital Resilience” appeared
on the Teaching Ahead: A Roundtable blog. In the post,
he writes about his tireless e;orts to persevere in the face
Roll into a computer lab with 12 broken machines?
No sweat. I’d pair kids up and move on without missing a beat. Struggling with a slow
internet connection? Fine. I’d
stay all night to upload student
content if I had to. Need a hand-held video camera to make digital
storytelling possible? I’d buy six,
and hide the receipts from my wife.
But despite his willingness to
make it work, he wonders if all this
enabling is making things worse in
the long run.
If change is going to be systematic
and sustainable—replicable without
relying on superhuman patience and
ridiculous acts of professional altruism—it’s high time that we start making investments in the kinds of tools
and networks that our teachers and
students have access to. To do otherwise
is nothing short of hypocritical.
His post prompted this comment from
As another digitally resilient teacher, I wholeheartedly
agree. It’s time for the national and state leaders, above
my level and pay grade, to acknowledge that this is im-
portant and to put their money where their mouths are.
Diana Fingal is the senior editor for L&L. She has been writing for and editing periodicals for more than 20 years.