This is just a lighthearted post reflecting on some of the possible situations you may encounter when discussing technology used in education. In some cases I speak from experience, but I have learnt from that, I hope.
- The Gimmick – these seem like a good idea, the most exciting thing you have seen, “wow 3d Tv! that would really bring lessons to life!” These have a huge engagement level for a few weeks (or days) but that fails to translate into any benefits or long term impact.
- The lost ark – That precious resource. very expensive, in fact so expensive it must be locked away and signed out only by a chosen elite. Eventually the effort to get your hands on it just to practice using, let alone actually use in a lesson becomes too much. Eventually it will be forgotten.
- The George Mallory – using the tech just because it’s there. If you are going to use technology make sure there is a purpose. You may want to use it but you run the risk of planning your lesson to find an excuse to use it, not using it in a meaningful way. This is also usually the shiniest newest tech you can find.
- The Nostrum – This tech is often sold to budget holders as a cure all. Imagine technology that can solve our attendance, workload, behaviour issues all for less than the cost of a iPAD! This is a top candidate for the tangled ICT cupboard of no return.
- The Chimera – Spending all your time looking for that one perfect gadget, easy to learn, easy to master, cheap, robust, compatible with your systems. At least the hunt is a good excuse to visit some exhibitions.
- The Sisyphean Task – Technology really excels is making extra work, at first it is so exciting it doesn’t even seem like work…. Can you unlock this? I forgot the password. The charger’s broken. The update doesn’t work on our system. Don’t even get me started on printers.
As much as I love technology and use it regularly in a whole number of ways, sometimes just for fun. The real purpose of this post is to reinforce that it is teachers who determine the success of our education systems not the tools we use.