You Can’t Just Teach Your Staff Technology. You Have to Teach Them Not to be Afraid of Technology.

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This blog is a continuation of my previous attempts to convince school administrators to use technology.

All of the following could be considered part of my overall master plan to convince the masses about the importance of technology. Or it could be a desperate plea that will likely fall on deaf ears. Only time will tell.

Guest Blog (We are in Charge Now!) – The Secret to Better Technology in Schools.

Tech Geeks vs. The Suits.

So You Want to be a Big-Time Blogger?

2009 is the Year of the Blog.

An Open Letter to Superintendents and Principals: You Should Blog.

Best case, administrators from all over the country are mesmerized by the genius of my blogs and start using technology at a record pace.

Worst case, I continue writing (I just cracked myself up…. this can hardly be considered “writing”… more like incoherent babbling) about technology so often that administrators start using more technology in the hope I will just shut up.

Either way, I figure it is a win-win for students. And it keeps me off the streets.

A couple weeks ago (that is how far I am behind), I was reading an internet article about 10 Technologies About to Go Extinct.

The article was about how technology sensations eventually get overtaken by new faster, better, sleeker technologies.

Their list (… which as always is Fair and Balanced… there I go… cracked myself up again):

1. Landline phones walkman

2. Floppy disks

3. Wristwatches

4. VHS Tape and VCRs

5. Beepers

6. Film Cameras

7. Typewriters

8. The Walkman

9. Dial-up Internet

10. DVDs

After reading this, I once again realized I could be getting old. I can remember all of these items. Worse yet, I still have some of them.

The rundown:

1. I still have a landline phone. Hopefully Google Voice will help me pull the trigger on getting rid of this. It’s time.

2. I have to admit…haven’t seen a floppy disk in years. I’m not even a fan of flash drives. Thank you Google docs.

3. Wristwatches. Love them. I would be a collector if I made more money. They will have to pry one off my cold dead wrist before I give it up. Although, I never look at it. I do have a clock on my laptop and cell phone after all.

4. VHS Tape and VCRs. Still have them and they are drawing dust. The DVR is the world’s greatest invention. Up to now.

5. Beeper. Never owned one. My parents didn’t want to lose me in a gangland style killing.

6. Film Cameras. I have noticed I’m a much better photographer with a digital camera.

7. My first opportunity at a real career, typewriter repairman. Loved typing class in high school. Don’t miss the whiteout.

8. The Walkman was cool. I don’t care what anyone says. And so was my Flock of Seagulls cassette tape.

9. I hated Dial-up Internet. Even when it was brand new and cutting edge, we knew it was slow. What kind of technology is that?

10. DVD’s. Never understood this. Who has time to watch movies? And who buys the movie and watches it more than once?

I think there is a lesson to be learned in almost every situation and this is no different.

From this list it is painfully obvious that technology always advances. If something better hasn’t come along, it is on its way.

How do we take this lesson and apply it to schools?

Educators are going through a phase where we are teaching (in some cases forcing) staff members to learn about email, Google docs, SmartBoards, Moviemaker, YouTube and other assorted technology programs.

This is wonderful, but I think we need to look at a much bigger picture.

We can’t just teach teachers how to use specific programs and then walk away. Those technologies are going to change. It might be in 5 years, or a year, or in 10 minutes, but they are going to become obsolete.

Everything does.

As administrators, IT people, and technology trainers, we have to get our teachers comfortable with technology. Not just learning certain steps to create a project or use a computer program.

We can’t be helping people with their email folders 5 years from now.

They must feel comfortable helping themselves.

Then they can truly help their students.

Note from Editor in Chief… a.k.a. Wife: AMEN!

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9 Responses to “You Can’t Just Teach Your Staff Technology. You Have to Teach Them Not to be Afraid of Technology.”

  1. Diane
    on Apr 17th, 2009
    @ 8:16 pm

    Landline phones are good for when you lose electricity and can’t charge a cell phone.

    I also love wristwatches and own quite a few. Haven’t actually worn one since I quit my job back in 1995.

    I can’t imagine life without my DVR. I rarely watch tv programs as they’re being broadcasted-I’ve gotten too used to being able to fast-forward through the commercials.

    Flock of Seagulls played at my college in the early ’80’s along with U2 and Toots and the Maytals (Maytalls?) at Mayfest. Beer, hot dogs, beer, brownies, and…oh yeah-beer. Good times. I think. The memory’s kind of hazy.

    I disagree re DVD’s. There’s always time to watch a classic like The Quiet Man or The Godfather.

    Maybe that’s the problem with technology. It does change so quickly, so why bother learning it? Not my opinion-just an example of why people may be resistant to it.

    You didn’t mention Discman.

  2. Eve Heaton
    on Apr 26th, 2009
    @ 5:26 am

    I love your blog and am forwarding it to my principal and asst. principal. Very funny…and true…observations. I am a career changer in my second year of teaching and am very greatful that my principal is willing to let me try new things and embrace technology in the classroom. This year he set up an email group to communicate with parents and he is letting me share some things I am doing in my fourth grade classroom, which I secretly hope inspires others to try new things in their classroom (although I am also secretly afraid this might cause teachers to request the computer lab and portable labs more thus reducing my time with these resources…ahhh…the double edge sword of technology). I am currently lobbying for a full compliment of rechargable digital cameras for classrooms to use on a check out basis for various digial storytelling projects.

    Mrs. Heaton
    Mossy Oaks Elementary School
    Beaufort, SC

  3. eduguy101
    on Apr 26th, 2009
    @ 8:26 am

    You forgot transistor radios! I just tossed one last month.

    I agree with your stance whole heartedly, and email links and blogs to staff to get them going. It is slow but it is working. I am think of having a blog posting of the month to use at grade level meeting to use as a discussion basis.

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    Thank You, Keep up the Great work :)

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