Thursday, October 4, 2012

Technology is not a Golden Coin

i hate digital [analog remix]
(Photo credit: the|G|™Ok
We have this quote in my country: "We are no golden coins to be loved by everyone."  I´ve found this is, of course, true for technology, in education.  

One of the things that I´ve always pointed out about the whole technology thing is not to expect everyone to be so delighted about it as we are.  

So, I was in this Parent School night and I was excited about sharing with parents how students were being engaged using Diigo and the tremendous learning taking place there.  I also mentioned that we were going to continue using our digital platform, Edmodo, to post homework, share important information, dates, etc.  I mentioned that students would be discussing in virtual forums through Collaborize Classrooom.  I presented them with Posterous, through which I was expecting to share  some thoughts with students and have students do the same.  Of course, I mentioned how we were going to be using social media to engage and learn.  I showed them our most recent Wallwisher about scientists who contributed to the development of Biology.  I informed that some evaluations would be made through Socrative or Google Forms.  I spoke to them about our brand new BYOT policy.  And, and, and...ok, you get the idea.

To top the cake with the cherrie, I introduced them to Tungle, which is a live calendar through which you can book appointments.  I had one parent say something like: "Ok look, I think this whole techy is good but,..." You know the rest of the story-he pointed of course, the issue with connectivity at home, the fact that students might be overwhelmed and he ended with a: "please stick to phone call and email with me...".  

I guess that what I´m trying to say is that we should not expect every student, let alone parents, be as positively engaged with educational technology.  Now, does this mean that you should drop the whole thing? Definitively not.  It means that you should bring forth that positive leader that models responsible use of technology and that shows results of how it has worked in true, authentic learning.   

But, for starters, let´s take it slow and moderately.  Wait for tech-reluctants to enter the comfort zone.  It migh not be a good idea to throw the whole package all at once.  Instead of having engaged learners, you might wind up having more stressed pupils.

May you continue rocking it at your classrooms as you transform education and change the world! 
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