The conversation went something like this:
Teacher: Do you know he suggested using Tagxedo at Reading Night?
Me: What a wonderful idea!
Teacher: I don't see why they want to use technology. (said with disdain)
Me: Why not? The kids and parents would have a good time.
Teacher: What if it doesn't work? What if it doesn't print? Then what are we supposed to do?
Me: What do you mean doesn't work? It's really easy to use.
And the conversation continued...
"Technology" is not something you can pick up or put down, it's not a solid object. That is what frustrates me so much about people who are "anti-tech". It makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs every time someone says to me, "See, I used the Smartboard today, I used technology."
Or, after typing an entire paragraph on a web page, it's deleted, and the person yells, "See, that's why I don't use technology!"
Technology is not a subject!!! It is a tool that is not going away. It's not something extra that you add to a lesson, it's just part of your lesson. You know, the way you use the textbook. I had a hard time wrapping my mind around the question, "What if it doesn't work?" So does that mean that we shouldn't use it? What isn't going to work? The Internet? The computers? Tagxedo?
Yes, there is a chance any one of those things might not work, but there is a greater chance they might. And what an experience that would be for those who use it! It reminds me of when my principal, who asked us to think outside of the box after a tech conference, asked me to put my Sliderocket presentation on a flash drive because the "Internet" might not work that day.The "Internet" worked just fine.
When I was thinking of a way for my kids to creatively describe themselves, I chose Tagxedo as a way to do that. While planning my lesson, I did not begin with, "How can I use Tagxedo today?" When I want to connect with students in another state or country, I use Wallwisher, Edmodo, Twitter, etc... because it's a way to connect beside pen and paper. When I want my students to share their thoughts simultaneously about the novel I am reading aloud, "Today's Meet" is a wonderful tool. And, I don't only use the Smartboard during observations, just to prove that I am using "technology", because that's what "they" want to see.
All the wonderful things I do with my class is not done to "show off". It's because it engages my students and makes teaching enjoyable. And yes, I do have a life. There are so many great ideas I get from so many different people in my PLN, so there's no need to spend every waking hour trying to find them on my own.
We have to let go of this fear of the unknown , the fear of change. We have to remember that we should be lifelong learners, and not be scared to share our knowledge, even in a way that might not be comfortable for us!
photo credit: ~Aphrodite via photopin cc