Today, I’m meeting with some pretty big names in education, technology, and social media and I’ll admit I’m a bit nervous. If you’ve followed my writing the past two years or so, you know I’m not the most progressive thinking educator. I’m of the opinion we sometimes make learning and education much more difficult than it needs to be. That’s not to say that edtech cannot and should not be leveraged to improve learning. Technology can be a great tool for the teacher and learner, as long as learning remains the focus.
So why am I nervous? I’m nervous because in all of this need for pushing forward, do we ever stop to consider what’s already working well? Or are we somewhat blindly moving forward without genuine consideration for the strategies we’re using that already improve the classroom? As a middle school and high school teacher, I’ve seen classroom and whole-school initiatives thrown in the trash wrongly because it either wasn’t working (was it simply not implemented correctly?) or because there was a new (and assumed better) way of doing things.
I’m certainly not saying we’ve got it all figured out in education…far from it. There are surely situations where something new needs to be done to improve the classroom, the school, the district, et cetera. I guess what I’m calling for is the humility in all of us to stop and consider what is working and what we can do to amplify those strategies/initiatives before rushing to the next great gadget or approach that is slated to revolutionize or fix everything.*
Let’s be progressive enough in our thinking to at least consider not being so progressive…or maybe that’s the new progressive. Progressively traditional.
*By the way, there is no ‘one thing’ that will fix it all and anyone trying to sell you on an approach or gadget that does should be questioned. Be a critical consumer.