Monday, September 26, 2011

Teach, Not Tech

I know I'm not the first person employed in ed-tech to say it's not about the technology. I have to remind myself of that a lot though. When I try to reel teachers in--those who really like their lessons they way they've taught them for a decade--I have to tell them that.

I tell the teachers in my district that it's about bringing some life into the classroom. It's about creativity, passion and potential. It's about reminding students that they can make something that didn't exist before and that when they do, they can find a sense of purpose.

Those things don't happen while trying to meet state objectives or pass standardized tests.

I have recently become a fan of Kevin Kelly's work and I love what he said in an interview in Christianity Today. This is the goal I strive for when the students are trying my patience and it seems so much is working against us. When I see a student intensely focused on his project or when one is excited to show me what she can make, I remember there's hope. We're doing something very important everyday.

"I want to increase all the things that help people discover and use their talents. Can you imagine a world where Mozart did not have access to a piano? I want to promote the invention of things that have not been invented yet, with a sense of urgency, because there are young people born today who are waiting upon us to invent their aids. There are Mozarts of this generation whose genius will be hidden until we invent their equivalent of a piano—maybe a holodeck or something. Just as you and I have benefited from the people who invented the alphabet, books, printing, and the Internet, we are obligated to materialize as many inventions as possible, to hurry, so that every person born and to-be-born will have a great chance of discovering and sharing their godly gifts."

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