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.  


  1. Nick this is so true; I once had a Grad student explain it this way, and it seemed brilliant: "It is like there is an invisible line, and you are afraid to cross it because you don't know what is on the other side; but once you do-once you cross over that line-the rest is easy."
    Have a great day!

  2. This isn't just a technology issue, it happens to me when we get new textbooks. The companies add so much extra crap to the series that it takes a large amount of time just figuring out what is worth looking at. I also have had the same problem with new video game systems....

  3. Completely agree. I'm guilty of showing my Ts too many tech tools but that doesn't mean they need to use them all. I am very happy when they come to me excited that they used Twitter, Evernote, or Google Docs for the first time. Baby steps are key.

  4. We integrated iPads 1:1 this year and this is the exact advice I give on a daily basis to veteran teachers afraid of technology. And as someone who is comfortable with technology, I still often get paralyzed when a bunch of technology is thrown at me at once. Thanks for writing about this.

  5. I completely agree! In my district, the hesitation for tech integration is due in large part because we have rolled out new tech too often and too fast. Great post!

  6. More frustrating, though,is being used to using tech and then moving to a school without enough devices or support for the BYOD program the supt wants us to do. I miss being able to do blogs and Moodle as much as I did last year.


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