I see two camps of technology-involved people in my school. The ‘early adopter’ who is keenly interested in searching out new techniques, programs and options that technology can bring to teaching. I am one of those. I know for many in my school I represent something scary; the fear that because I am trying new things they will be asked to as well. As they call themselves they are the “gee, love to try that, but I don’t have time” crew.
Ironically I don’t have ‘time’ either. As with them, I have marking and prepping to do and even a life to lead. I argue though to make the time. Incorporating technology into my teaching allows me to do 3 things I ask my own students to do:
Be a Life-long Learner
We tell our students that, in the ‘real world’ they will be learning all the time. Yet I do the same unit the same way year after year?? I best show them that I am a learner too by delivering something in a new way. This year I changed my Haiku unit – completing it with Wordle – a small change but one that updated it and asked for a new way to do things.
Demonstrate “Taking A Risk”
We ask students to take risks in their learning – what about yours? There is nothing scarier than trying a new thing in front of 30 16-year-olds. My first “Google Earth” Japanese geography lesson was risky not only because of questionable wireless in the school, but also my newness to the program. Okay one part of the lesson failed, miserably, but the fact that for the first time the geography lesson was actually 3-D was amazing. They loved it.
Slow and Steady Changes the Game
“Baby Steps” I didn’t go ‘all tech’ overnight. By many others’ standards I still haven’t. But I make it a goal to try to incorporate one new ‘tech’ thing into each course each semester. That’s 3 things in an 18 week period and if I can do that each time I teach the course the change is easy to handle and does pay off in a big way.
So while making time can be difficult, practicing what I preach about learning, risking and being current is why I must…