I have read in several places recently that perhaps there is too much emphasis being placed on using technology in the classroom. My first thought was there’s no way that’s possible. And then I started to really think about that statement. Is it possible that we (the ed. tech. community) have pushed so hard to get teachers to use technology as a tool, that this urging has now become irritating to teachers. Do they really believe our only interest is to have them use computers in their classroom? So I thought about that for a bit too. I continued to go back and forth between the fact that some teachers are probably getting tired of hearing they should use technology more, and some teachers will need to hear that message over and over again until they actually do use it! And sadly, some will probably resist until its use is mandated.
Contemplating this took me back to PETE&C this past February when I attended a session on the last day called “Erasing the Technology”. The presenters of this session were Ben Smith and Jared Mader (the EdTechInnovators). They profess that we are currently in an environment where 21st Century skills for students are essential to become globally productive citizens, and we have to be careful not to over-emphasize the tools of technology. Ben and Jared state that “We need to help teachers understand how to integrate tools invisibly in a technology-enriched collaborative, communicative, and creative learning environment.” Just like the State Farm commercials say…I am so there! My goal is not to push teachers to use technology just for technology’s sake. My goal is to provide teachers with tools they can use to teach, demonstrate, and/or assess concepts and student work. And these tools need to be just another aspect of the classroom; invisible. We need to “erase” the emphasis that we’re actually using technology and let it be just another aspect of the classroom. It needs to be the norm and not a special event!