$5.00. That’s the average expense for my mobile phone per month while living in the Philippines. As you might easily guess, unlike most of my students I don’t have a fancy smartphone. Not that there is anything wrong with iPhones or any of the other various pieces of technology many of us use to “stay connected.” Nowadays, if you’re working at a tech-savvy school you’re expected to know your way around an iPad, laptop, smartboard, maybe even an Apple TV. In fact in some international and independent schools, in addition to being allocated classroom keys, teachers are given new laptops, iPads, and other devices, which for many have become the tools of the trade. Many schools have clearly embraced technology, moving beyond the days of computer class as the sole opportunity for utilizing IT.
Of course it wasn’t always like this. I remember just a few years ago, when the cool kids (and drug dealers) had beepers. Once students started bringing phones to school, as teachers we were supposed to crack down on phone use like prison guards confiscating toothbrush shivs. Then came iPods and MP3 players, texting, and then, for many of us we gave into trying to regulate, because heck…we wanted to check our smartphones too.
Clearly technology is revolutionizing the way we do pretty much everything (just step into a bathroom in Japan and you know it’s everywhere), and as educators we must embrace this wave or be swept away. Yet, I wonder if in our willingness to accept and embrace change, we missed something.
Today, no one can deny that we must be equipping our students with the skills to not only use technology to access information, but also the know-how to analyze and use it. Of course I’m not the first ED bloggers to have said this, but that’s not what this series is about.
Starting this week on Learn[ed]Leadership, we’ll be beginning our summer series Disconnect[ed]. A collection of blogs, articles, and videos examining what we’re not doing right with technology in school. Disconnect[ed] is less about what software or hardware a school should be using, but instead what constant exposure to media, apps, texting, etc, is doing to the way we think and interact with each other.