This is the first post for my blog on technology and although there are a million programs and ideas scrambling through my mind, I can’t help but want to write about why it is important to use it, first.
When I was growing up my parents bought me a set of encyclopedias. I was officially “the cool chick” in the neighborhood because whenever someone had a project to do, they wanted to come to my house so they could do research. I still remember those old Comptons. Flipping through pages and pages, having to search different terms in different books in order to get the information I was looking for- that is, if it was in there. There’s only so much you can cram into a set of books. Back then I sat in individual desks, listened to thousands of lectures, and probably went through half a forest worth in paper taking notes. But times have changed. Technology has changed. Students have changed.
We live in a time where technology skills are no longer the “ideal”. They are the “required”. They say that the best time to learn a foreign language is when kids are very young. That is why it is important to teach them the digital language now. Students now can access a library no matter where they are located. They can look up information with the single click of a button. Students become more actively engaged when technology is being used or available for use. One of the benefits of BYOT is that students can learn to use their device for something other than social media. Think of the possibilities when it comes to projects- videos, podcasts, blogs, webpages, word clouds, etc. Technology offers them the opportunity to get information and create faster, giving more time to learn, offering more choices, and promoting creativing thinking.
My job is an instructional technology specialist at an elementary school. The teachers I work with are amazing and often comment on the neat tools I show them for their lessons, thinking I am somewhat of a guru. But in reality, I am just a teacher. Three years ago I was where they are. I didn’t get a degree in technology. I didn’t take a multitude of classes on the different tools that are out there. I just opened my eyes and saw what was already evident to many others- times have changed. And so we must follow in suit and walk forward with our eyes wide open.