FACT: Almost two months ago, I joined Twitter and started blogging.
FACT: I have now connected with more than 200 other educators around the world and have taken advantages of experiences I would not have had otherwise.
Have you ever notice that once you do something you automatically assume that everyone else is or at least should be doing the same thing? You start dieting, and…how dare they bring in brownies – don’t they know we are ALL being ‘good’? It’s worse when you accept change faster than most people (my other half calls this trait ‘fickle’ – ! ). You find yourself surrounded by people who are so…so…so flip phone! And if you aren’t on Twitter or FaceBook, (I can’t even think of an appropriate metaphor). Clearly, I love my technology. I love the cool things my toys can do, but most of all, I’ve finally found the power of using technology as a tool to become a connected learner. I’ve had my epiphany; why hasn’t everyone else had theirs? Why do my teachers look at me with their pitying/condescending/he’s-totally-crazy look when I start soapboxing about Twitter?
My month-old desktop computer may already be outdated, but technology itself is here to stay. The internet is not a passing fad. Landlines will never be back in style.
And so we must embrace technology into the classroom. When we ask kids to unplug and power down before coming into class, we are not meeting them where they are. We are
asking telling them to meet us where we are. 1950. Dial tone and 45’s.
When I hear other educators talk about how we need to keep YouTube out of the classrooms because kids may make inappropriate comments, or that we need to make a rule that all cell phones must be turned off and in their lockers because they may text each other, or that we can’t access Facebook because they may connect with each other or with other peers during school, I cringe. I, then, become afraid – scared that we are making school policies based on fear. Fear of what MIGHT happen.
I am not advocating that we ignore the inevitability that kids will make poor decisions. They will. And so will we. They will abuse the privilege, and we will not support them properly. But we cannot let our fear of what may happen lead us to extinction. Darwin theorized that species that survived did so because they adapted – they changed. Our problem is that we have a forebrain that lets us think, and realize we are changing, and then it tells us that we shouldn’t like all that change.
Rather than listen to our forebrains, let’s trust the kids to do right. Let’s embrace the inevitabiltiy of change, and realize that technology is here to stay, and it’s here to help.