“I don’t know technology.”

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April 28, 2015 by Dr. Robbie Barber

During state testing, some of which was online, I was asked to help debug a problem with the headphones not working.  When I asked if the headphone set had been tested (it’s the easiest fix) the answer was “Don’t ask me. I don’t know technology.”

Is there pride in that statement?  I heard it.  And it tells me that fight to incorporate technology into the classroom is not a technical challenge.  Instead, it’s an emotional one.  The challenge is gather the hearts and minds of the teachers, parents, administrators and even students.  What’s at the root of this emotional knee jerk reaction to technology?  Fear of they perceive technology to mean.  Some fear change – any change.  It’s the same way many fear the unknown.

In an oversimplified manner, I offer this emotional pacifier:

Technology is a dumb tool that YOU shape for your use.  Period.

If you teach reading, you can still read aloud to students.  You can also ask the computer to read it for you.

Technology will not replace teaching, but what you are capable of teaching can expand beyond any existing limit.  Yes, you can start by substituting a technology tool for something you already do.

Just remember, as you get comfortable, technology will help you explore the outer reaches of your teaching imagination.  It’s time to go “where no [teacher/student/parent/administrator] has gone before.”

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