Yes, my current job is about getting computers into the hands of kids and teaching their teachers how to use them. Yes, I’ve got an MA in Educational Technology. Yes, I’ve done hundreds, yes hundreds, of tech-related workshops. Yes, I have integrated various forms of technology into my classes since my student teaching. Yes, I believe in the power of technology to transform and amplify an educational experience. But, no, I’m not the tech guy.
In 18 years in the classroom, most of my time with students was spent away from a screen. We talked. Read from different perspectives. Analyzed. Made decisions. Worked together. Found problems. Solved problems. Explored the world. Created. We created so many different things. Sure, the screen opened up the world, but the real connection happened in front of and between us.
And, in 20 years of facilitating workshops and professional development, most of my time with teachers has been about teaching differently. About students coming first. About using that tech to give students a voice and a space to create. About letting students find their way with the teacher lighting a multitude of paths.
Real education technology is about all those things. It’s not about word processing, online assessments, or replacing instruction; it is about preparing them for life in a digital world. Often we can get stuck in the weeds of technical difficulties — learning is bolder and bigger than that.
I’m not the tech guy. I’m a teacher, a learner, and an administrator who operates beyond the confines of the traditional four walls of a classroom or office. I use tech to blow up and expand what can be done; not because it’s cool, but because it is the right thing to do for our students. Who are you?