Technology in Schools Is a Fad. Trust Me.

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Why are we still talking about this?  The constant conversation about the need for technology in schools. Schools Need Less Technology (Work With Me... I'm Making a Point).

Why are we still trying to convince teachers and administrators this is needed?

Some might even say it’s the wave of the future?  Crazy talk if you ask me.

Technology is the "next big thing".

Like automobiles.  Fire.  Batteries.  Movable type.  Bottled water.  Daily showers.

Trust me, these never caught on and neither will technology.

I think the naysayers are right.

Technology is a fad that will never last (like ballpoint pens, air conditioning, laser beams, and Subway… because who in their right mind would pay some  17-year old kid to make them a sandwich?).

There are educators out there who understand this.

They’ve seen this same type of thing happen time and again in education.   This too shall pass.

They are the ones leading the real charge.  They are the ones mumbling and looking at their watches during professional development.

They gather in the hallways (often during class time) and point out what’s wrong with this technology scenario.

Technology isn’t here for the long haul.

Sure, it’s caught our fancy for the moment, but it will disappear.  Trust them.

It’s time we stopped preaching to these people in our schools.  It’s time we followed them.

They are the visionaries.  They are the leaders.

They are the ones we should be following.

These forerunners will no longer hear me trying to bring them over to the side of technology.

From now on, I am all about paper and pencil.

It may not be what the kids want, but it’s what they need (and who knows better what the future needs than the past).

I owe so many people apologies.  I’m sending them all an email apology.

Now, if someone in their buildings would just help them check… because they are also the ones constantly telling me their email machine is broken.

And I for one, would hate for them to be left out.

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19 Responses to “Technology in Schools Is a Fad. Trust Me.”


  1. Marc
    on Apr 9th, 2012
    @ 7:42 pm

    Great post Mike! I actually wrote about the same thing last year and constantly say that schools shouldn’t be chasing the technology carrot since we will never get it. Just money down a hole……..that has no bottom.


  2. Marc
    on Apr 9th, 2012
    @ 7:45 pm

    Here is the blog I wrote in case you didn’t see it the first time I published it:

    Technology (and teaching) versus Trees

    http://www.principalslounge.com/?p=359


  3. Beth
    on Apr 9th, 2012
    @ 7:47 pm

    Well said!


  4. Bill
    on Apr 9th, 2012
    @ 8:00 pm

    The answer is Doc and Mike as quoted, n hangs is inevitable. It growth is optional!” n what did John Dewey say about teaching as we did in the 20th century? Either way, where I work we are so entrenched in the 19th century it will take another 100 years just to consider both of your two posts. :) )))))


  5. Bill
    on Apr 9th, 2012
    @ 8:01 pm

    Change that is…but growth!


  6. C
    on Apr 10th, 2012
    @ 9:27 am

    I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic, but I disagree completely. I was surprised to read this given your recent post about Discovery and what you said about the techbook; “There is no doubt digital textbooks are the future.”

    Michael Smith Reply:

    Sarcastic???? Maybe…. a little. :)


  7. Debbie Shuler
    on Apr 11th, 2012
    @ 9:46 am

    What a talented writer! Talk about playing with the crowd!. I bet you are one heck of a superintendent. You just made both sides of the “technology war” think you are siding with them. Thinking about going into politics? :)


  8. Diane
    on Apr 11th, 2012
    @ 11:43 am

    “Email machine”? lol You hit the nail on the head. Thanks for the laugh.


  9. This Too Shall Pass | Merianna Neely
    on Apr 12th, 2012
    @ 7:08 am

    [...] Michael Smith has it right: They’ve seen this same type of thing happen time and again in education.   This too shall pass. [...]


  10. Jim
    on Apr 12th, 2012
    @ 7:50 am

    At the risk of being tar and feathered (please use the yellow ones, they look so much better on me), I’m not so sure that having all this technology is a good thing (I say this realizing that I read about 8 blogs a week and incorperated the SMART Board into my lessons daily). In our rush to go bookless, (which no doubt will save most districts money in the long run) I never hear this question answered, “Do the students learn more by incorperating this technology?” If I could be shown articles where incorperating technology into the classroom actually improves creativity or helps students master a skill, then I would be all about it. Until then, I really believe the fight needs to be on getting students formative feedback (and yes there is technolgy to do this – that I would actually help student achievement), reguardless of if technoloy is used or not.

    In our zest to be leaders in education, Stanford University Professor Larry Cuban writes this about the iPad initiative at McAllen School District in Texas, “So then it raises the question: Why are you buying them?” he said. “And the answer is to keep up with the Joneses. McAllen then has a reputation of being innovative, ahead of the others, and abreast of the new technology. Well, that’s not a reason to spend taxpayer money.”

    I realize that technology is hear to stay, and that it is a part of a students “world.” However, change is only good in the world of education if it makes students think. That’s change we can believe in.


  11. Anna Darby
    on Apr 15th, 2012
    @ 7:42 pm

    You, sir, are a genius. I love how you can write a post full of sarcasm but still make a point. Technology will last! It is “the next big thing”. Those who are trying to make the “real change” better get used to it!


  12. Magan Crum
    on Apr 15th, 2012
    @ 9:07 pm

    Dear Michael Smith;
    My name is Magan Crum. I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I will be commenting and summarizing your blog post on my blog page. This class is technology base and we only meet once a month. Technology is very important for this class because it is the only way we are graded. In this very sarcastic blog post, I loved that although saying technology is a fad you compared it with other things that were “fads” but are used everyday. I believe that people should stop trying to fight technology and just embrace it. There are so many positive things educators can get out of there students just by showing them how to use technology in an efficient way.


  13. Christine Ontko
    on Apr 16th, 2012
    @ 8:31 am

    I like sarcasm. Excellent post!


  14. Kim Lattimore
    on Apr 20th, 2012
    @ 11:09 pm

    Love it! You have looked inside my thoughts. Thanks for sharing them with me.


  15. Alicia Manuel Kessler
    on Apr 22nd, 2012
    @ 8:27 pm

    My initial thoughts upon reading the post and the comments: “I came here for an argument”.

    Which of course just wasted 20 minutes of time with that new fangled Youtube taking me off topic with the Spanish Inquisition…………


  16. Pat Connolly
    on Apr 23rd, 2012
    @ 1:34 pm

    I have never been one to adopt technology to quickly. I do think that technology is not going anywhere. Over time what constitutes technology changes. Technology is a force of nature. Certain devices come and go but our use keeps marching forward.


  17. Matt
    on Apr 24th, 2012
    @ 8:18 am

    The real problem with education is that there are teachers who read this and think you are against technology in education. Teachers who can’t read shouldn’t be teaching children to read.

    “What we have here is a failure to communicate…”


  18. uksuperiorpapers
    on May 18th, 2012
    @ 10:48 am

    As always it is the teacher and parents who should make education relevant to students. Technology must become an inclusive tool. Where all are able to obtain access to hardware and applications.On the one hand I bet using technology is not exactly learning – just as using a remote control does not teach you about tv. We are the slaves to the technology; not the technologist.

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