Today I found myself in a bit of a conundrum. I am the team leader of a group of three teachers who have all agreed to use a common rubric to grade student essays. I have been using turnitin.com for years to grade student work. I have found the ease of use combined with the automatic features speed up the grading process and provide valuable and immediate feedback for students. I also don’t have a stack of papers to drag home with me.
I know there are advantages to paper. It’s simple. You just need something to write with and something to write on and you are set. You don’t have to worry about losing your online connection or something glitchy going wrong with technology. I get that. But in this world, we have to embrace new technologies and deal with the glitches that come with them. If we don’t, we will just find ourselves falling further and further behind both individually in our professions and globally as we set examples for our students.
I get the “back to basics” movement, I do. But I was listening to a TED talk this weekend during which the speaker echoed what I’ve been saying for years. Books will be replaced by newer and better means of communication. We have a love affair with the old, but the sooner we face the fact that the world is changing, the better off we’ll be. In the extent of human history, when has a civilization that embraced the “old ways” prospered or even survived?
To focus more specifically on the world I live in, I want to convince my peers and colleagues to use new technologies. These things can make their lives simpler, save time, save paper, and demonstrate to our students that we can use technology in meaningful ways. These experiences can go a long way to building a generation of tech savvy kids who will go on to conquer new worlds.
In our 1-1 environment at Westside HIgh School, I just think we need to be a beacon for other schools. We need to take advantage of the resources we have to show how useful and beneficial they can be.
So how do you win over the ones who don’t want to embrace the latest greatest technology? How do I build a bridge from yesterday to tomorrow?
I’m open to suggestions.