Saturday, May 17, 2014

Our Hippocratic Oath

Recently, I wrote a post about a teacher in my school that just does not use technology.  You can read it here.  The thought of a teacher not integrating technology in the classroom does not reconcile with what it means to me to be a teacher.  

The Hippocratic Oath is an oath historically taken by physicians and other healthcare professionals swearing to practice medicine honestly. It is widely believed to have been written by Hippocrates, often regarded as the father of western medicine, or by one of his students.

While educators do not have a Hippocratic Oath per se, we do have a responsibility to do what is in the best interests of our students at all times.  In this day and age, where technology permeates all facets of our students' lives, I firmly believe that not teaching our students how to harness the power of technology for learning violates that responsibility.

I liken this dilemma to the one that many teachers face, including myself, when it comes to standardized testing.  While many of us decry the way standardized tests are used in education today, simply turning a blind eye to the existence of this culture would negatively impact the success of our students inside this culture.

As educators, it is our duty to put aside our personal views and do what is best for our students. Whether that is preparing them to take a standardized test, or giving them the tools to maximize their learning using technology, we can base decisions on what we do in our classrooms on our personal feelings.

It is a travesty to hear teachers profess that they always do what is best for their students, and then turn around and neglect to introduce them to the positive aspects of effective technology integration.  It flies in the face of our Hippocratic Oath, and we must bring it to an end.

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