A battle of historic proportions is taking place.
It is the classic scenario of good vs. evil. And both parties think they are playing the role of good.
The future of education hangs in the balance.
Worse yet, some of the people involved don’t even know a conflict is happening.
Tech Geeks (a term of endearment) are consumed with the idea the Suits (revered and esteemed colleagues of mine) are not learning/using technology at a quick enough pace.
The Tech Geeks are a large group made up of computer teachers, technology directors, and everyone else with a love for all things futuristic. These are not people you want to cross (especially if you want your email to work). They have knowledge and time on their hands.
The Suits of course are people like me. They are the ones running schools all over this great country. They are easily recognizable because they yell at kids for running in the hall, make rules no one understands, and look tired all of the time.
This group also includes central office robots and school board members. Just about everyone over 50 years of age can be lumped in with The Suits.
Tech Geeks crave everything new and cutting edge. Suits like the status quo (at least the techies think so).
And this is where the problem lies.
In some wars it is hard to pick sides, but not in this one.
Tech Geeks have a voracious appetite for all things technology. You are either with them or against them. No fence straddling here.
They love the 5 P’s (I have this copyrighted, so don’t use it… unless you are willing to pay me 4 cents each and every time) which are Phones (cell… the newer, the better), Printers (wireless preferably), PC (laptops with big screens), Programs (which includes Twitter, Plurk, and any cool website), and Presentations (they love their workshops and the people who put them on).
The Suits are confused, nervous, and don’t know what they don’t know.
Simply put, it is the future vs. the past (educationally speaking).
The Tech Geeks are all over the internet screaming that The Suits are falling behind and don’t know what is best for kids.
The Suits don’t hear the screams because they don’t Twitter, Plurk, Google, or do anything internet related (other than check their email).
This whole situation frustrates the Tech Geeks to no end.
What is funny is that in the middle of all this there is a dirty little secret.
The secret is… The Suits know they are behind in technology. Way behind.
They just don’t know how to catch up.
The Suits are the kid in class that doesn’t know enough to even ask a question. They are afraid to raise their hands.
So consequently, they aren’t progressing.
I shouldn’t speak for all suits, but I am going to (it is my blog you know).
They are confused by technology and what the future holds…for them, for students, for teachers, and for schools.
They have been successful in their careers without technology, so it is easy not to see a drastic need for it. Especially when they don’t understand it.
Over the last 10, 20, 30 years they have climbed the career ladders to get where they are.
They have put in time, worked hard, studied, taken classes, and attended conferences. All of this without anything more than a basic knowledge of computers (as in they know how to turn them on).
Now towards the middle or end of their career, Tech Geeks want them to jump aboard the runaway train of technology.
Every day, they fall farther and farther behind and there is no safe jumping on point (in their minds).
Somehow we have to bridge this gap.
Bring the good Tech Geeks together with the good Suits (there are some out there you know).
All of this makes me ask the question “Can’t we all just get along?”
But it brings up another question for which I don’t have an answer.
At least I don’t have an answer in this blog.
Oh wait… someone just stumbled by who has the answers to all of our problems.
** Note from wife…I know, I know…I have had a lot of notes here lately. I think I might have a start on how to bridge this gap. Anytime I give a professional development session at a school, I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE the administration as well as the technology department to attend. I do this because I know three languages…geek, administration, and education. (4 if you include my ability to ask “Where is the bathroom?” in Spanish. How sad those 5 years of Spanish class don’t come in more useful. That is truly one of the only things I remember.) I do have my Type 75 Administrative Certificate in addition to my Teaching Certification as well as a corporation that provides technology assistance and professional development for schools…so I feel pretty qualified to add this note. When we get the Tech Dept. as well as the Administration to sit in on the training, everyone comes out on the same page. All three parties have huge eye openers regarding the position of the other groups. It is amazing when we can get them all in the same room. SO…if you haven’t made it a priority for EVERYONE to sit through professional development sessions regarding technology…YOU SHOULD! It would help us bridge the gap of the differing needs and create an awareness and possibly a mutual respect for each person’s position.