Des is a teacher who has actively resisted technology for quite a while! Her son is an ICT expert and she has always relied on him to do things for her. She tried… but she made excuses, she apologised, she labeled herself. She would come to our tech sessions, write copious notes, express interest in having a go, but never feel comfortable. We’re talking about a wonderful, passionate teacher, willing to embrace change… just not technology.
June 2010: In the past few weeks, there’s been a shift for her. She had a go at one thing and then another…And now it seems as if she’s crossed some invisible line and anything is possible! She has given her Year 4 students a choice as to which web 2.0 tools to use to express their learning and allowed them to guide her. Her class has collaborated with a class in the UK on a Voicethread, sharing information and learning. She’s seen the potential of Skype in the classroom, and after being talked into one supported session, is now setting up her next one herself….
She attributes the change to the following:
- Plenty of support.
- Having a go, playing around with the tools, experimenting.
- Reading what it says on the screen, rather than waiting for instructions.
- Guilt. She didn’t want her kids missing out and felt she owed it to them to push herself.
- Handing over control to the kids and accepting their help.
- Experiencing some successes, which encouraged her to try other things.
- Opportunities for using technology to support learning in a meaningful way.
Perhaps these factors can help other teachers move forward in integrating tech into their teaching and learning. At a conference I attended recently, presenter Stephen Knowles put it like this, ” Technology shouldn’t drive, it should empower…” What do you think, Des?