Thursday, March 13, 2014

Edtech: Just a Tool in the Classroom

 I am a co-host of a show called Learning RedesignED on the EdReach Network (@EdReachUs), and honestly, until about a week ago, I had not consistently listened to another podcast on this amazing network in more than a year. I have been listening to the EdReach Network podcasts each morning on my way to work. A great way to use the time wisely! I arrive at work, feeling relaxed and like I had spent a little time doing something for myself.

In a week and a half, I have learned so much about what other passionate educators think about education from how important a crisis plan is for a school (Mission Monday), to the cool new features of Google Play for Education (Google Educast).
The one thing that idea that keeps rattling around in my head is that the term "Edtech"needs to be changed to just plain education. Technology is present in all of our lives and in all other businesses. People in other industries don't have a choice to use technology. It is built into their work. Why is it so different for teachers?

Never do we give teachers classes on how to use a pen or a desk or an overhead. We don't attend conferences around the other "tools" we use in the classroom. Technology in school is here to stay! We need to use technology in our classrooms to make our instruction more relevant, to vary our presentation method, to allow students to be creative, to allow students to connect outside the classroom walls, and because it is part of their lives already!

If I was to ask how many people didn't use technology today to a group of teachers even, I will wager that no one would raise their hand! Technology makes our lives easier to manage. It will do the same for our classrooms. So, stop talking about "technology in the classroom" and start talking about ideas that work to get students to be creative, to collaborate and to be critical thinkers.

Oh, and I recommend listening to the EdReach Network on your way to work! It is like a little shot of good news each morning. Get inspired to change or rethink a strategy or try something new.

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