I’ve just finished reading the essay The Song Remains the Same: Looking Back to the Future of Educational Technology Punya Mishra, Matthew J Koehler, Kristen Kereluik. TechTrends. Washington: Sep/Oct 2009. Vol. 53, Iss. 5; p. 48. I’ve read and reflect on the essay for my EC&I 832 class.
Mishra, Koehler and Kereluik (2009) suggest “the power and potential of educational technology must be acknowledged to reside within educators and not within objects” (p.52). They call for a focus “characterized by creativity and flexibility of thought and experimentation by educators with their own educational technology designed to meet specific, immediate needs.”(p.52)
What do you think needs to happen in your context that would allow educators to “forge a new path that does not merely retrace the past” (p.48).
Wow, I read then re-read the above quotes and thought about how they apply to me and my teaching practice. I also wonder how they apply to my co-workers then to my entire school division. Throughout my entire Master’s program I’ve taken opportunities to study the integration of technology through the lens of a particular class. I’ve researched how reading and reading assessment can be enhanced through the use of technology. I’ve studied how integrating technology into my reading program can benefit my students and increase their reading levels along with their comprehension. I’ve read and discussed articles looking at the integration of technology in early childhood education and the benefits to young children. I’ve searched, researched and wrote papers on the professional development necessary for teachers in order for them to successfully integrate technology into their teaching practice.
Throughout my reading, research and many discussions the biggest stumbling block seems to be fear. Many teachers are scared to try something new, especially technology, because what happens if the students know more than they do? In the article the authors describe the reactions throughout history to new innovations and those reactions were all fearful of change. How do you change the fear of change? There will always be people willing to jump into something new with both feet and not be afraid of failing. I think teachers need to stop being afraid of not being the experts. We don’t have to know everything about the technology we’re using but we do have to willing to try something new. Students don’t need us to be perfect but they do want us to expose them to new ideas and experiences. Students also don’t care if we make mistakes especially when we’re trying to use and incorporate new technology in our classrooms. The biggest challenge is to realize that some days it might not go well and it’s a good idea to have a plan B up your sleeve. To me what makes a good teacher is someone who’s willing to step out of their comfort zone, make mistakes and become life long learners with their students.