Monday, July 19, 2010

Why I Tech

(Editor's Note: No, I did not spell teach wrong in the title of the post. I'm using the shortened version of technology as a verb. The English teacher in me is freaking, but it feel it makes sense. Now, on with the post.)

I was talking to someone the other day and they were asking me questions about teaching and then they asked me why I'm so into technology. I proceeded to explain of all of the benefits tech has to offer to students and schools worldwide, but that wasn't the questions they asked. They wanted to know why I like technology. I just smiled and said I'm a Mac because of my Dad.

Family. The one thing I love about my PLN is that when we talk about our students, we often refer to them as our kids. We take a parental role in their lives in the classroom and we defend them as if they were are own. I think that is what makes teachers amazing. I've met many great people who I consider family over the past 6 months and I'm proud to be in the same field as them. Having said all of that, We get our passion for what we do from somewhere and mine comes from my Dad.

I'm a Mac. I'm proud to say this. I have an iPhone, iPod, iBook, iMac and iPad. It seems over the top, but if you are a Mac, you know exactly why I have all of these things. It's not my fault though. It's my Dad's fault. When I was young, my Dad came to me and my brothers and asked if we would be willing to trade that years Christmas presents for a computer. My older brother and I were geeked! We thought about all of the hours we could spend dying of dysentery on the Oregon Trail. My younger brother was skeptical and said no way. Well, we got the computer and he got the toys. To this day I'm annoyed he got to play with the computer. Anyway, we just didn't get a computer, we got a Macintosh. I'll remember my Dad's words until the day I die. He said, "Nick, get used to using these because they are the future." Man, was he right.

He set up a program where I could record the daily rainfall and it would figure everything out after a year of entering in data. Even today, that is a really lame use of a Mac to me, but it was something that blew my mind. I could type up assignments and turn them into the teacher. This was huge for me because my handwriting was terrible! There was this weird betting Dove Race game that we would play. Although it was not educational, it was fun to watch birds fly across the screen. The computer even talked to you if you ran the right program. I quickly became comfortable using the Mac because my Dad told me it was important. I would use the computer as much as I could. I even stopped playing Contra to fool around with the computer. I couldn't help it. I was hooked the moment I say that smiling computer on the start up screen. It truly was an amazing device and my Dad's tech influence did not stop there.

I remember when we got the Internet. We had Prodigy. I would sit in his office and log into our newer Mac and access the Prodigy Network to play Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? He encouraged us to use the Internet to look things up and to have fun with it. I stayed away from chat rooms and had no idea what email was all about, but I was pretty good at surfing the net at dial-up speed. By the time I got to college, I was a pro at using AOL and had two email addresses. I felt good about being a tech guy. College was going to be a breeze because I knew how to surf the web and find information. My school also had a Mac Lab. :-)

When it came to deciding my major, many family members said I should go into business and that teachers do not make any money. My Dad told me to do what I want, but strive to be the best. I feel that is what I'm doing by trying to infuse tech into my class and constantly trying to learn new things to bring to my school or district. I could have stopped exploring tech after getting to college. I could have been happy with easy searches for information. My mastery of Word was solid and that is all any teacher really needed at the time. I guess I knew that there was always more out there. I knew that I didn't have all of the answers and that someone else in cyberspace might have a better idea. I wanted to keep learning and tech was a way for me to continue to grow.

My Dad has always been supportive of my decision to be a teacher. I strive to be the best teacher every day of my life. I know that I do make a difference, in part, because of my Dad.

Dad, you are the reason I tech.

What is the reason you tech? Have you ever told this person? Write a similar post or leave a comment here. We all have a reason. Maybe it's time to let them know.


  1. Awesome post!
    I'm a Mac too, I get it. My parents own a kitchen company and they had a Mac that had CAD and draw on it. I spent the majority of my summers playing in the office on the good old Apple IIE. Memories!
    I feel like I was destined to become a teacher. I had it in my blood. I was teaching from the time I was 2 or 3. My parents have pictures of me sitting in my little rocking chair surrounded by stuffed animals where I was reading them a story or teaching them addition. I was thrilled when my little brother came around and I had someone real to teach. I take full credit for his brilliance.

  2. Great post! I have been thinking a lot lately about the huge role your parents play in your lives and the little things you pick up from them. People always ask me why I am so into movies, the answer is that is the way my dad and I would communicate, to talk about movies. As for being a tech, I just love tinkering with things until they do what I want them to. Good post, got me thinking!

  3. Great post Nick! I think that my kids were really the driving force behind my interest in technology. Although I had a computer when they were born in the late 80's, it was when they were in school that I really became more engaged in tech. I made it through college and a good part of my master's degree with only a typewriter if you can remember those ;-) When I think about many of the tools I learned, it was because I wanted to keep up with my kids. Now that they are both grown and in grad school, they are excited when I show them some of the cool ways I am using tech with my learners.
    I really enjoyed your post and hope to read many responses. And, by the way, I'm definitely a Mac too :-)

  4. Love the post! Great advice from your father on striving to be the best that you can! Definitely inspired me to come up with a similar post for my blog. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Thanks for the kind words everyone. I'm glad you liked the post. I've been wanting to write that for a while. I just didn't realize it until the other day.

  6. I'm not necessarily a Mac or a PC. I used to have an iPhone but switched to Android. I do LOVE my MacBook though! I think my tech interest springs from my dad always messing with computers and my brother, Matt's love for them as well. Then, I married a techy! I just love the opportunity that technology allows for us to be connected!

  7. I tech because of my grandfather. He worked for IBM for over 20 years and got us our first computer- a Commodore 64. We usually got his "old" computers as he had to have the newest at all times so he could stay up to date with all the new technologies. I too remember getting online for the first time with Prodigy at his house and thought it was the coolest to hook his laptop up to the TV to play Classic Concentration. When I started college, he bought my first laptop and scanner. I was the only one in my dorm with the scanner so everyone came to my room to use it. My grandfather is one of the reasons why I tech and to this day, helps keep me up to date with new programs and vice versa now.

  8. As many others have said, your post is awesome. I tech because my mom got me a TRS-80 when I was 12 years old. I taught myself BASIC computer programming and was frustrated at the fact that the only way to store information was on a tape recorder. Talk about the dark ages. I used to get mad when hours of work were lost because of the obvious glitches using a tape recorder for data storage would bring, but it was still cool to do then and way cooler to do now at 45. I'm definitely an immigrant, but I'm trying hard to keep up with the natives.


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