Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Paralyzed By Technology #edchat

As I have worked with teachers over the years, I have come across one common problem that many teachers deal with when looking at technology. It's this idea that all new tech tools must be integrated immediately or they have failed as a teacher. As they look over the long list of available tools, they become paralyzed because they are overwhelmed.

I always make sure to tell all educators that technology is about baby steps. As "techy" teacher, it appears that I have used every tool to the full extent from the very first day I started using the Internet. What teachers do not see are the many many tools I have used incorrectly or the tools that just didn't fit my instructional style. There is a vast wasteland littered with remains of programs that I was excited about, tried, and then realized were not for me or my students. I learned to focus on what was working and use it well.

After some time with a tool and feeling like I have mastered it, I would explore a new tool. I took baby steps with all of the tools I have ever used. At the end of the year, I evaluate the tools and decide if it will stick around. Either way, I look to add a new one for the start of the next school year.

As a connected educator, I see tons of great new tools shared on a regular basis and I have to fight the urge to try and use them immediately. If I want to do it right, I need to take my time, learn how to use a tool and think out who it fits into my classroom.

Friar Laurence said it best in Romeo and Juliet "Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast"

I encourage teachers out there to find one new tool to explore, have fun trying it out in class and then reflect on its use at the end of the year. When you are done, look for another one for the next school year. Over time, teachers will no longer be paralyzed by technology and will become the "techy" teacher in their building.