Monday, March 3, 2014

What, EXACTLY, are we doing here?

I am a technology specialist.  I absolutely love finding new ways for the teachers I serve to integrate technology.  It is my firm belief that technology is just one of several tools available to teachers.  Technology is not an end all be all.  Our state required standards are always the first step in building any lesson.  If the technology does not help our students demonstrate mastery of those standards, we have a problem.

In February, I attended TCEA (Texas Computer Education Association) as I have for the past 5 years.  I love going to TCEA for many, many reasons.  Not the least of which is the people.  I have developed a wonderful network of educators.  I get to learn from these wonderful people everyday on Twitter but seeing them face to face takes the learning to a whole new level.

At TCEA, I kept hearing about programs that brings technology to teachers but also makes them jump through ridiculous hoops. I've been thinking on this for the past month.  I work hard to try to see things from other people's point of view, not be too judgmental and understand that different things work in different districts but I just kept thinking...

What, EXACTLY, are we doing here?

If we really believe what we say we believe, why aren't we making it super easy for teachers to get the help integrating technology?

If it's really about engaging students with standards driven technology rich lessons, why require teachers to spend extra time and energy just to ask for help?

Yes, resources are few. Tech Specialist have many schools to serve and not enough hours in the day.  But there has got to be a better way to go about things.

It's time to rethink what our purpose is as Technology Specialists.  We are often the 'gate keepers' of technology. Our attitude toward getting it out to students and teachers shapes how our teachers react to it.  If we require teachers to work so hard just to get our help, we perpetuate the idea that integrating technology is hard.

It's not hard. It's just different.  It requires patience and a willingness to fail forward.  It requires a new thought pattern.  It's constantly changing.  Our job is to keep up with those changes, sift through the deluge, vet sources and bring the best to our teachers and students.

So, today think about your processes.  How you can make it easier to get engaging, technology rich lessons to the students you serve? How can you make life easier for the teachers you serve?  Because that's what we should be doing here.

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