Todd Ritter from Download Squad attended the Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference and heard David Pogue speak. He was amazed by the reaction of the audience to ideas David expressed about technology he feels would be usefully applied in educational settings. Todd made this comment about audience participants;
“it became clear from the audience gasps and collective jaw-dropping that educators are not keeping up with technology changes. Demonstrations of technologies that have been around for more than two years were causing the educators to feverishly put pen to paper so they can take things like Skype back to their schools to use in the curriculum.”
While I think it’s true that many classrooms are not exploring technology to its full potential, I wouldn’t be so damning in my criticism. Many teachers are flat out trying to meet curriculum demands and the emotional needs of their students. While I agree that new technologies can make the learning experience more engaging, many teachers do not feel confident enough to try new things out. One of the things I’m trying to do with this blog is to highlight some of the new technologies available and empower teachers to feel confident enough to tackle something new. I had a wonderful experience with a colleague today. Our Electronic Services Librarian had set up a Wiki for her class and I was helping my colleague learn how to edit pages and link text to websites. I then suggested we find an appropriate YouTube video and embed it in the Wiki. We clicked on the plugin button and selected insert YouTube video. We copied the embed code from the YouTube video and pasted it into the box that had appeared on our screen. We clicked save and voila! YouTube video embedded in Wiki. She was thrilled and felt empowered. This was a teaching opportunity for me and my colleague will pass this on to her students. Winners all round! This is what we need to be doing to support our colleagues in feeling comfortable with new technology. Once they realise things aren’t so difficult to do there will be more uptake and our students will have the opportunity to learn technologies that will assist them in becoming the lifelong learners they need to be.
Todd Ritter suggests Five ways to improve technology in education. Read his post – he has ideas that I think all educators should be considering.