Practitioner time. If media time (see previous post) often looks like speeded-up Chaplinesque frames from 1920s films, then think of practitioner time as slow motion. One example should suffice.
As computers spilled into schools during the 1980s, news media carried stories of an imminent revolution in teaching and learning. Districts bought machines like popcorn, placing them in classrooms and labs.
In schools saturated with computers, some teachers were using machines for lessons a few hours a week. Even after media predictions of an impending revolution in teaching and learning, however, most teachers remained casual or non-users.
By the early-1990s, in characteristic hastiness, media had already pronounced the “computer revolution” dead on arrival. That judgment was premature. Over decades, a slow growth in teacher use of computers has registered on the practitioner clock rather than the media’s and policymakers’ faster tick-tock of months and a few years. With the ubiquity of tablets and laptops, computer devices are in the hands of first graders and Advanced Placement physics students. With the hyped-up push for “personalized learning” and online instruction, the media clock is ticking as is the policymaker clock when policies for rebuilding district computer infrastructures for school teacher andstudent access. Devices have become part of the unfolding of daily lessons across the nation’s classrooms. “Failure?”
Lag times between different clocks is also evident when student learning is considered.
Student learning time. Reformers want students to learn more, better, and faster. But this student-learning clock doesn’t tick fast. It is a very slow-moving, difficult to read, and the numbers are out of order.