Five thoughts from the first couple of days here at the 2015 ISTE Conference…
- If “it’s not about the technology, it’s about the learning,” then why are we centering so many of our sessions on the tools?
- Are there uses of technology with students that would offend the majority of us so much that we would stand up and shout, ‘No! We should never do that!’? I see things here and there that concern me but many others seem to be pretty blasé about them or simply accept them as inevitable parts of the landscape (for example, behavior modification software, draconian Internet filtering of children and educators, and drill-and-kill systems ‘for those low-achieving kids,’ just to name a few)
- The work of transforming school systems is difficult work. School transformation stems from personal transformation, not from devices or apps or software. How many of us can say that we’re truly transforming more than a small handful of other educators?
- The work of transforming school systems is slow work. Some of us have been at this for a decade or two (or longer). How do we invest in and energize both ourselves and each other so that the frustrations, sluggishness, and setbacks don’t win?
- We should have more babies at ISTE. Who doesn’t love babies?!
I’m with you on all points – especially the babies!
Wondering still – if it’s not about the technology, why is it still called “International Society for Technology in Education?” For this reason, many teachers (who teach ELA or math or history) do not get funds from our district to go, as we are not “technology” teachers. Ugh. Keep the baby pics coming, and enjoy the rest of the week! 😉
Agreed – it’s not about the tools. From a learning standpoint – are teachers asking themselves: “If I take the “tech tool” out of the lesson, can the objective still be reached with the same level of proficiency?” If the answer is yes, then the use of the tool is very superficial or unnecessary.
Hopefully, there are some conversations happening at ISTE about goals and purpose (I’m sure there are). Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
I agree with you! And I brought my babies – age 2 and 3 – to ISTE on Sunday to get my paperwork. They enjoyed my free water ice treat and got it all over the floor. 🙂
I am offended when technology is used as a babysitter and when it is used as sparkly lights to add without any tie to instructional impact. I try to work with teachers to move them forward to meaningful, effective teaching that integrates technology where useful. However, it is a slow process. I try to focus on the wins and celebrate the teachers who are moving forward so I don’t get discouraged.