I just got back from the ICE conference in St. Charles, IL. What a great time – many excellent conversations. That’s where it’s at for me these days. I can get all the information and instruction I need through my PLN – Twitter, Blogs, and Podcasts – so conferences have become all about the interactions. It’s so fun to walk up to someone – or have someone walk up to me – and say, “Hi, I’m so-and-so, it’s so good to meet you F2F.”
One of the issues that arose was the ever-present idea that technology use is viewed by teachers as just one more thing they have to add to their long list of teaching duties. My response is, let’s do things differently.
When I listen to teachers talk, I hear their frustration with all the add-ons. My approach is that technology is not an add-on … in many instances it is the best way to achieve our desired outcomes. So what can we do differently?
First, we need to educate everyone in the educational community: teachers, adminsitrators, parents, students, support staff, board members. All of these stakeholders need to understand the benefits of emerging ourselves in the most appropriate and effective technologies.
Next, we need to help classroom teachers pick and choose those projects, lessons, and tasks which will benefit most when infused with technology.
Example: Digital stories
Give students a microphone and let them talk about what they have researched and discovered. Give them access to pictures and let them choose the pictures that represent their audio. Present it to the members of the educational community and you have a rich experience for everyone.
There are many more examples – the only thing holding us back is our “add-on” attitude. Let’s help our teachers (and pre-service teachers) become so comfortable with the variety of available technologies that the natural outcome is its seamless use.
Where will you start? Where will you help other teachers start? Where will you help other educational stakeholders start?