Monday, July 15, 2013

Be the Change

Posted by Beautiful Engineering via  Facebook
Last week a teacher I know posted this picture on Facebook with the comment, "Clever" then another teacher stated, and I quote, "The best part of my job is confiscating cell-phones from 6th graders." I asked the 6th grade teacher why not give students thinking questions instead and the responses back were always that cell-phones and other mobile devices are too distracting. 

This conversation has been bothering me ever since as I ask myself, "How do we change the mindset of teachers when it comes to technology?" There is no easy answer to this question. 

For too many teachers, administrators and school districts technology has become the added burden in the classroom.  There is the cost of the devices themselves and then the increase of use upon the often outdated wireless infrastructure. Mobile devices also demand a change in traditional teaching and learning for both the teacher and the students. No more Sage-on-the-Stage.

Yes! These are valid concerns. Yes! Change can be scary. Yes! There is a possibility of failure. Yes! There is the chance of success, too. 

We, the educators of the future, need to embrace technology and learn to use this amazing tool to teach our students how to think and solve problems. If you don't know the answer to the question, Google it. Then take the information and collaborate with others to create a solution. As Adam Bellow said in his closing keynote at ISTE 2013, "In the real world cheating is called collaboration." I want my students to be able to use and process the information they find on Google not just to find the answer, but to be innovative and solve problems. 

I plan on being the change I want to see happen. Will you join me?


  1. What a great post - there is change happening and educators need to embrace it. I am interested to hear how teachers/districts are handling the use of devices in the classroom. Whereas I agree with you that we should embrace mobile devices and encourage students to use them for "good not evil" I have seen a few districts utilize the Red, Yellow, Green model. Red is a NO cell phone zone, Yellow is a must-ask first zone and Green is GO FOR IT! These can be posted all over the school/campus but individual teachers can have their own signs and change them as needed. It gives control to all levels while keeping people happy.

    1. I can see how a lot of teachers and schools would like the red, yellow, green system. Seems like a simple way to let students know where and when they an use their mobile devices.

  2. Yes, I am apart of the "change." As a SPED Resource teacher, who taught Resource English and math, I embraced technology. My students developed their e-portfolios inside of a LMS and did enormous amounts of research learning for their background and content knowledge. For my alternative math portfolios, I flipped my math classes and created new activities that really demonstrated my students's knowledge. Next school year 2013-14, I plan to implement coding using the program Drap and Drop from SnapIt along with simple robots. Oh yes, this is a SPED classroom!

    1. Learning2, it sounds like you have a great classroom for students to learn and be successful in. I like the idea of coding with students. I'll have to check out the Drag and Drop program for when I begin coding with my own students.