Education and Technology - Begin with the End
The current educational culture’s relationship to technology is just like when your mom got Facebook. You’re glad for the effort but it’s awkward and mistakes are being made.
I don’t have my own class yet and I’m not even half-way through my credential program but here are my very general observations about the extremes I’ve seen.
1. Technology solves all the problems! Just use Vine, Twitter, and Edmodo and your problems will be over! Use all the apps, dudes! It’s where the kids are at!
2. Technology is the enemy of education! These kids and their iCalculators doing the email and the myspace. Get off my lawn and print me off a ream of worksheets!
Here’s my plan to find a happy medium.
1. Begin with the end. What am I trying to do and would technology help? This is essential to most planning but the insistence that we show how we’re up-to-date technologically forces many people to adopt stuff that becomes a burden in the long run. There are many “solutions” out there looking for problems. This is backwards.
2. See what’s working in other classes. Steal. Very few people can effectively reinvent the wheel. Teachers are also very willing to share ideas.
3. Show what’s working in my class. Be eager to show how your new gadget meets the “end” in #1. Few people are early adopters but being a a resource to another teacher is -always- good.
4. Give up on what’s not working. I don’t know what else to put here.
5. Start small. Find something that might help the “end” and give it a try. A series of little wins will accomplish more over the long term than huge wins and huge failures.
6. Look for opportunities. Certain technology is being forced on teachers and that’s the way of it. Find a way to integrate it into what you’re doing and pay attention to numbers 1-5 above.