It’s the start of a new year, and with that always comes a renewed set of emotions as we welcome students back for the new year. Teachers are rejuvenated, students are excited to be back, and administrators are working to sustain this energy.
However, at our school the end of 2019 also meant the end of our technology website subscriptions. These will not be renewed in 2020, and that has brought about a great deal of anxiety and frustration for teachers.
Why is is that we rely so heavily on technology based programs?Why do we feel they are better suited to teach our students than we are?
- Are these programs easy and convenient to use? Sure. They are built to make money after all. But do you really go in and analyze the results from the time that students spend on these programs? Do you use the information to adjust your instruction? If not, then the programs are nothing more than a babysitting tool.
- Do students love web-based games and programs? Of course. But guess what? They love when you teach MORE than any computer program or educational technology game. The relationship you have with them is more engaging than any web-based system will ever be. Don’t forget this, and don’t take it for granted. Technology should not be used as a substitute teacher.
- Do students need to know how to navigate different forms of technology? Absolutely. However, your time is much better spent actually integrating technology into your lessons – creating meaningful opportunities for students to authentically use different forms of technology.
In 2020, I challenge educators to break free from educational programs and systems that are used as babysitters, substitute teachers, or as a way to “teach” technology skills. Instead remember that YOU are the most powerful component in the classroom, and YOU are the teacher. YOU are who your students want to learn from, and they deserve the best education and the best YOU.