I get asked often to help teachers introduce some type of technology to their classes. Whenever I’m asked, my first question is, “Why?” I don’t ask that to be difficult. I ask because the reason for using technology shouldn’t be ambiguous. I’ve heard teachers say that they want to use tech because 1) their administrator expects it of them; 2) they saw a fellow teacher using something that looked kind of cool; 3) they want a class period where they won’t have to be so hands on; 4) someone told them that if they didn’t get on board, they could lose their job, etc.
All of these reasons are valid to those teachers. However, I’d like to say that they aren’t the best reasons for wanting to use educational technology in your class. Some educators fear not having the answers when our students ask us questions. Which is why some teachers cling to their county adopted and approved textbook to teach from. With technology, we’re constantly surprised by what we find and what our kids are able to do; we do NOT always have the answers since we’re dealing with an unknown. If you’re reading this, you can probably understand that feeling.
So what would I say are good reasons to use technology? If you want your students to become problem solvers, to think outside of the box, to choose what kind of product will showcase what they know, and to push themselves to answer their own questions, these are good reasons to use tech with your classes.
Please, don’t say that you don’t have time for this. Our students are living in digital worlds. Technology use in school is not a trend that will go away like New Math. Make time for what’s important and giving your students the up-to-date education they need is important!