Reactions to Change and New Technologies.

I’ve been struck by some connections, or similar lines of thought, as I’ve read many of the recent posts from the members of EC&I 831.  Shawn Loepky mentioned that we often hear comments from some of our colleagues about today’s students being quite different from students of the past.

We hear comments like, “Have you noticed that kids today seem different?”, and you want to scream, “Why haven’t you!”

I think that it is quite evident that today’s students (the generation that is growing up on-line) are quite different from students even just five years ago.  We know that the nature of the student is changing, and we are finding that not all teachers are facing these changes with similar outlooks.

In a post about YouTube being unblocked in her division, Angie Balkwill mentioned that she observed three common reactions to this new technology.  I agree, and often see similar reactions to the implementation of new technologies in schools.  One reaction is often that of ignorance to the technology; “Oh, what is that, I’ve never heard of it?”  Another common reaction is frustration; “How can we be expected to use this?”  And a third common reaction is acceptance, and excitement; “Finally, now let’s use this appropriately.”  I agree with Angie that there are likely pretty common reactions across most school divisions.

Laurie Gatzke, and Ken Meredith also recently posted reflections on similar thoughts.  The common thread amongst these discussions seems to be reflection on the wide spectrum of ways in which teachers react to new technology.  In Ken’s words, “not everyone is at the same point on the change continuum.”

I think that we are (slowly) moving in the right direction.  As a profession we are becoming more accepting of change, and more comfortable implementing technology in our classrooms.  I think that there are many educators who need to be more willing to experiment with technology.  This will happen, it will just take time.  We just need to continue doing what we do, and to try to create good examples of using technology to enhance learning. 

Younger teachers coming into our divisions will often help too, although I do find it quite frustrating to see new teachers that are not very tech. savy.  I’m not sure how this can be in this day that a teacher can get an Education degree and not be very technologically literate.  I would hope that Educational technology courses should be required classes, as tech. skills are so essential to be successful in many educational situations.

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2 Responses

  1. When will we move away from the “education is slow” mentality? Is this not an injustice to our kids? When we have the research at the tip of our noses, why do we continue to wait, and wait, and wait? Just wondering . . .

  2. I may be way off here, but I wonder how much these young teachers are influenced by their supervisors, many I assume that are not aware or open to new ideas in education. Model the clay the way you are told, and there is no inspiration.

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