To Embrace you First Must Let Go

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Let’s pose a hypothetical situation. Let’s say that you decided today that you were going to fully embrace technology integration into your classroom. Then you and Doc Brown

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were able to travel in time to 2 years from today to see how your classroom has changed. I bet you would not believe that you were in fact looking at your own classroom. That’s because technology can “transform” what we do in the classroom. Many of these buzzwords such as “transform”, “reinvent”, and “innovate” get thrown around an awful lot these days. But what does this actually mean or even look like? If you pause to reflect on what transform means which is “to change in composition or structure” and if you apply that to what you do in the classroom then we are talking big things! It would mean a fundamental shift in what our classroom “is” and what our role in that classroom is. We have to let go of focusing on such specifics and try to understand how we and our students fit in the bigger picture.

Here is a cool slideshare on just this “transformation” topic:

But let’s be honest, it’s not an easy thing. Sometimes it’s actually easier than you think, but sometimes it’s harder. Check out this cool Prezi called Integrating Technology into the Language Arts Curriculum focusing on the hurdles Amy Pollington foresaw with integrating tech in a kinder classroom and the solutions she proposes to remedy these issues.

As I shared in my last post most of us are at schools that are somewhere on the continuum of technology integration so what are we to do? Here is a great blog post entitled “Technology Integration: A Six Pronged Approach”. It’s a great post because it does what I think any school needs to do, it lays out a plan. Here’s a little teaser from the post:
Tech Integration Presentation

Good stuff!

If your looking at this and thinking, there’s no way I could fit all this into what I’m already doing then you’ve got it. You have to stop doing things the way you are currently doing them. You have to take that leap of faith into the unknown that we ask our students to do everyday. It’s not really even the unknown, it’s just unknown to us. And the real beauty is that everything we need is at our fingertips. As anyone who uses twitter can attest, the amount of relevant content that is shared daily will blown your mind to smithereens, not to mention the specific chats that occur weekly.

But let’s get back to the point. Integration looks like engaged kids producing original and relevant content. The tough sell is that you can’t package it and sell it as a program. It more difficult to assess because the product can change with the tool but the learning has still taken place. It’s tough to let go of traditional methods that are easily assessed because that’s the proof we are doing our job…right? And when we as teachers are being assessed on our “success” using this criteria is tough to let go of the tried and true. I’d venture to say it’s next to impossible unless you work at a school which has a supportive community. Either that or you won’t be working where you are working for long.

Here is one last resource I wanted to share:

Ed Tech in PYP: https://www.scoop.it/t/edtech-in-pyp

When you take a look at this Scoop.It you’ll see many of the titles have words like “revolution”, “reinvent” and “Transform”.

What resources are you embracing and what are you letting go of to do so?

About Benjamin J Sheridan

Instructional designer at the University of Kentucky.
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One Response to To Embrace you First Must Let Go

  1. Kim Cofino says:

    Great points! My favorite line is:

    If you’re looking at this and thinking, there’s no way I could fit all this into what I’m already doing then you’ve got it. You have to stop doing things the way you are currently doing them.

    That’s the key, right? Just like your title – you’ve got to let go!

    Reply

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