Here’s the deal.
Technology use should be a normal, everyday part of the classroom.
It should not be a trip to computer lab, a special event, or ISTE NETS checkbox.
It needs to be ubiquitous. ((Shout out to monika hardy for adding this to my everyday vocabulary! She challenges my educational worldview daily. You should see the amazing things happening with her students in the be you house here in Loveland, CO. ))
It needs to permeate the classroom. ((Notice that I used the word “needs”… this isn’t optional.))
This year, the older students in our school had more difficulty incorporating technology into school life than the younger students. Now, these are tech savvy, text happy, Facebooky high schoolers, and yet the younger students adapted more quickly- even though they had more basic technology skills to learn.
In September, I introduced Google Apps and Edmodo as our new technology infrasctructure. This was both a blessing and a curse, because the high schoolers very quickly rebelled. It really threw me for a loop, because I thought they would be eager for the change. Not so. They misused the available WIFI, forgot passwords daily, spent hours on Facebook and YouTube ((to the point that we blocked those sites for a period of time… and I’m not a fan of blocking!)), and generally made me question many of my beliefs about technology use.
Now, halfway through the year, all of our students turn to those tools regularly on their own. Younger students. Older students. Distance learning students. They have taken the technology beyond the school to use them in their personal life, share with others, and find new uses on a regular basis. They are no longer tech phobic. It’s not just their ability level that has changed, but their technological worldview.
It has truly become our pencil and paper. And textbook. And library. And more.
Now, we can be about the business of learning with those tools. That huge list of cool technology projects? Well, I get to start using those next week.
Is technology normal in your classroom and school?
(Part 1 of a 7 part series, including Part 2: How to Normalize Technology, Part 3: Technology Detox, Part 4: Examples of Technology Normalization, Part 5: Beyond Technology Normalization, Part 6: Age and Technology Normalization, Part 7: Technology & Inquiry)