Okay, so that title is misleading. As teachers, aren’t we working together with technology to improve student learning? That’s kind of the point, right?
This is supposed to be the case, but in my sixteen years of classroom experience, I think I’ve seen more resistance than acceptance when it comes to the changing world of education and the invasion of technology into our classrooms.
I say “invasion” because I think some teachers look at it that way. We have our space and our time and we do everything in our power to work with our students and to get them where they need to be. Then, suddenly someone (usually an administrator) says, “Hey, try this this year.” Then the next year its something else and so on and so forth. I still remember older teachers telling me, “Here we go again,” each time a new idea was attempted.
I am trying to decide where the line is between a healthy reluctance and what I like to call “Old Codger Syndrome.” For years, I have resisted the easy conversation about the “good old days” and how it used to be. I try to stay positive. For my money, “kids these days” are a lot nicer and smarter than we were when I was in high school. I just hurt myself with all of those pronouns. The point is that I think we’ve been moving in the right direction as a society. I think we just need to stop doubting ourselves. Change is coming, change will come… the only thing that’s certain is change. Instead of resisting, it might be easier to lie back and ride the wave.
In terms of technology, this means keeping a healthy skepticism, but giving new things a try. I myself was a victim of my old codger ways recently. For years now, I have avoided using the new version of iMovie. I still have a copy of iMovieHD that I use when I need to make a quick video. However, recently, I forced myself to dig in and make a video using the “new” (it’s actually several years old) version of iMovie. And after getting through the initial “this ain’t the way it should be” moments, I found that this versions works pretty well, and it is probably even more functional than the old version of iMovie. It took time and effort on my part to find this out, but it was worth it.
Not all technology is good or useful, but be careful when you hear yourself complaining about kids these days or longing for the way it used to be because sometimes, I think that newer can mean improved.