It won’t come as a surprise to anyone who really knows me, but…
I’m sort of a geek.
If I was put on trial to determine whether or not my geekiness is legitimate, there would be plenty of evidentiary support. For example, instead of eating lunch with friends in junior high, I would take a floppy disk into the lab full of Macintosh Performa computers and work on writing my first novel. I never really made much progress. If I’m honest, I think I just liked the experience of typing and being able to help my peers understand the difference between “save” and “save as.”
In high school, instead of reading issues of Cosmo magazine, I decided I’d rather teach myself to code websites. The content of my first website was limited to all of the reasons I adored the Backstreet Boys, but I loved the process of coding almost as much as I liked to draw hearts around Howie D’s head…
- All of this new technology drives me crazy! It’s too hard to learn.
- You’re a tech person. Of course you want to advocate it.
- Your students can do that, but mine can’t.
- Technology is for students to use at home and has little impact on my lesson.
- People have been teaching without technology for years and kids managed to learn just fine.
You may have heard similar comments at your school site. These are prevalent attitudes toward technology integration that can be found all over the place in our profession. As part of the AppsInClass team and a technology leader in my district, I think part of my job description includes being an advocate for the purposeful use of student-centered technology in the classroom. I often feel like shouting my favorite Billy Joel lyrics at the top of my voice:“We didn’t start the fire! It was always burning, since the world’s been turning!”
It is rather shocking to me how many educators view most forms of technology (even something as simple as a web 2.0 tool) as too crazy-new-scary to use. Sometimes I need a pep talk just to maintain the forward momentum of my advocacy. Here’s what I watch when I need encouragement:
1. "All of this new technology drives me crazy! It’s too hard to learn."
Sounds like this person needs some resources! Let’s start them out with some easy to integrate iPad apps, shall we?
Oh! And how about an iTunes U course that includes an original iBook to get them started? Check this AppsInClass iTunes U course out!
2. "You’re a tech person. Of course you want to advocate it."
Guilty as charged. You are right, I am a tech person, and here’s why you should be, too: Watch this.
3. "Your students can do that, but mine can’t."
Being limited by the expectations of others sucks. My students tell digital stories and that teacher's students can, too. How about an iTunes U course that includes an original iBook that details exactly how to scaffold the digital storytelling process from beginning to end? Subscribe to Digital Storytelling: Film Challenges.
Or, would you like some easy to use digital storytelling apps your students can figure out how to use on their own? Check it out:
Our students are digital natives who need to graduate with a solid understanding of how to search the internet effectively, judge information credibility, consume media responsibly, engage in digital citizenship faithfully, and produce media creatively. How about a video to show you just how essential technology is to our world today?
As a passionate educator, a lifelong learner, and someone who wants to make a difference in the lives of students, why wouldn’t you want to leverage every tool possible to enable student success? Whether you see technology as one more thing you have in your professional “grab-bag” of strategies, or whether you see technology as the be-all-end-all of education, it is part of our world today. Technology isn’t going anywhere. We’ve got an entire generation of kids who are growing up geek.
Tech up, rock out, and get your geek on, already.