Wednesday, June 25, 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.  

2 comments:

  1. Mr. Provenzano,

    My name is Melinda Akridge and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. As a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 510, I have been assigned certain blogs to explore and leave comments. I am SO glad I found your blog! First, the name is awesome! Aren't we all nerds? Second, EDM has been such a struggle for me. I am being dragged into the 21st century kicking and screaming, so I really enjoyed your post this week. Not only are my fears regarding technology a hindrance for me, but also, you really hit on something when you mentioned how overwhelming it all is. I appreciate your suggestion to take it slow and just work with one new tool at a time. Finally, anyone who can quote Friar Lawrence in a post on technology is A-Okay with me!

    Thanks!

    Melinda Akridge

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  2. Thanks so much for being so open and honest. I have been a long time follower of you and have truly enjoyed your work. I would like to add my support for you along with these great educators too. I have family members that battle with this issue too, so I have a lot of empathy for this situation. No matter what--you have a lot of people that care and support you. Come back and read these comments whenever you need some encouragement from your PASSION Learning Network! Please let me know if there's anything I can do to support you!

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