The first couple of months of the new school year brings on a whole load of new ideas and conversations about what is the next best thing in Tech, where should we be investing our time and energy and what is going to grow our students, teachers and school the most. For some people, these conversations are empowering and progressive. For others, it puts the fear of God in them. Over the past year, I have had interesting conversations with a series of different educators who all have their own perspectives. One educator earlier this year said he would not touch the next big thing that came along in Tech. Another educator shared his concerns about adopting movements that were ‘fads’ and not sustainable. He went on to question what is next, once students and teachers have jumped through all the hoops ahead of them. What bandwagon to jump on and off, when to jump or not and who and how to get involved is a tough decision for all concerned. Although as educators we tell our students that ‘we’ need to show grit, resilience, perseverance, be risk-takers and develop a growth mindset, many teachers do not want to fall flat on their faces as they strive to keep up with the latest piece of tech that is going to revolutionise how our learners learn.
Who wants to be the jack of all trades of tech? Should we be searching for mastery both for our teachers and our students? This is where in my opinion, less is more. Pick a few apps, software, coding programs, tinkering kits and get yourself really confident and proficient in using them, so that you are happy to guide and develop all the learners you work with. Your confidence and knowledge will then install the same feelings within your learners and they will start sharing. The snowball effect here is limitless.
George Couros in his book, The Innovator’s Mindset points out that if we give staff too many choices or options, they start to feel overwhelmed. This to me is when technostress and fatigue start to set in.
So my goal for this year is to focus on a few specific digital tools and nail them. For me, it will be Seesaw, Google Classroom , Swift Playgrounds , Tinkercad , Google Expeditions , micro:bits and………..this list is making into a jack of all trades again!! What are you going to focus on this year?