What Happens When Teachers Can’t Keep Up?

Unfortunately, this type of story is not uncommon:

Josh Pickett had a problem: his teacher couldn’t mark his homework. The cause of the problem: his teacher, who had set his Information and Communication Technology (ICT) class the challenge of “design and create a multimedia product”, had expected people to come up with a PowerPoint presentation.

Pickett, by contrast, designed, coded and built an iPhone app, using Apple’s Objective-C programming language – which the teacher installed on his own iPhone and played with.

And then the teacher failed Pickett, then 13, on his assessment. Why? Because although he and the rest of the IT staff at the school who had tried it loved it, the teacher “didn’t understand how it worked. So he couldn’t assess it,” Pickett, now 16, recalls. “I argued the case and managed to scrape a pass by teaching him the basics of Objective-C from scratch, and by commenting [adding explanations to] every single line of code I wrote – all 3,400 lines.”

In order for this story not to be repeated, teachers have to teach themselves to learn.