I piped in on another thread in class…
Craig, I disagree with your statement that “Teachers should not be hired if they lack proficiency in using technology.” I would need a definition of what Proficiency is. Further, where are the new graduates from college going to get the experience they need to implement technology if they never get hired to teach. Novice teachers should be hired and trained and retained.
I have a couple of reactions to your post.
First, California now requires teachers to be proficient in both the use of computers and in teaching with computers before they eligible to receive their professional clear credential (which they must complete within 5 years of beginning service with their preliminary credential). Some universities wrap this all into a single program so that pre-service teachers graduate with a professional clear… thus they usually take two computer classes in school. In other cases, people with preliminary credentials can receive support in technology from the Beginning Teacher’s Support and Assessment program, BTSA. So, I think (in California at least), it is reasonable to expect brand new teachers to be technically proficient. (The reality, of course, is something more disappointing… and many applicants are not going to be brand new teachers).
However, my second response is that you are very right about the need to train and retrain. The specific skills that a new teacher comes in with are not nearly as important as their willingness and ability to continue to learn new things over the course of their service. This has once again brought me back to the need to equip our graduates (some of whom will of course become our new teachers) with the 21st century skills needed to succeed in a world where life long learning is more of a necessity than a luxury.