I love technology. I love learning new things. Any time an initiative is introduced in the various schools I’ve worked in, I’m always one of the first to jump on board. However, having said that, I’ve been noticing a little something lately.
We’re always introducing something.
There’s always something new with technology, that’s one of the reasons I love working in the field of educational technology so much. But the problem is that as the new things come quicker and quicker, we are introducing them to our colleagues quicker and quicker.
And for some reason, we seem to forget that not everyone loves technology the way we do. And perhaps that last initiative went by so fast, they didn’t even catch what they were supposed to do with the tools. And now we’re already on to the next one.
It seems quite easy to fall into this tech trap. Introduce something once or twice, assume that everyone understands how they can use the tool to improve instruction, and then move on to the next thing.
But, here’s the problem. Most of our colleagues are still working on figuring out the initiative from the week, month, or year before.
It’s not enough just to introduce a new tool, run a training session or two, and then expect that everyone (or even the majority) has picked it up – or that they have the motivation or confidence to “figure it out.” This is why we need ongoing, “just in time” professional development. Not just for the tools we’re introducing this week, but for all of the tools we have at our disposal.
Maybe that means we’re still talking about SmartBoards years after they’ve been installed, or document cameras months after they’ve been distributed, or blogging almost a decade after it’s been developed. Because, sometimes it’s hard to remember in our tech-focused world, that the rest of our colleages may not operate this way.
I’m not trying to say that we shouldn’t introduce new things (that is a big part of our job, after all), I’m just thinking that maybe we should be more thoughtful about how we do so. Just because a tool is no longer new, cool and trendy in the edtech world, doesn’t mean that it’s no longer relevant to teaching and learning. And just because we have new, cool and trendy tools in the edtech world, doesn’t mean they should replace something that’s working well, just because it can. We need to find an approachable and comfortable balance between supporting existing infrastructure and tools and introducing new ideas.
What do you think? How do you avoid the tech trap?
Segway Tourists by runneralan