Sunday, November 27, 2011


What is the Big Bad Technology Wolf?  Who is the Big Bad Technology Wolf?  It's not really a thing.  Nor is it a person.  It's more of a state of mind.  It's the resistance you feel from others when you share some technology related information, application, or tool.  Let's face it.  Technology isn't going away.  Quite the contrary, it's becoming increasingly more a way of life.  If you are at all like me, you're so dependent on technology that you have to regroup when you are forced to do without it. I remember once a colleague's IWB had a burned out bulb.  The replacement cost was about $400.  Needless to say, it took a few weeks for her to receive a replacement.  She was so anxious during the time she was waiting to have the bulb replaced.  You would often hear her say, "How did I ever manage to teach BIWB?" (Before Interactive White Boards).  That's how much she depended on it, and how much she enjoyed using it.

Although I'm writing about technology from an educational perspective.  I think this issue has implications in other professions too.  Schools are becoming more and more technology driven as is business and society in general.  However, what concerns me is the apprehension and trepidation that some educators feel towards technology, even though we live in a world that is driven by and inundated with technology.  The implications that technology has for education is enormous.  Many students are more computer literate than their teachers.  I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing either.  I think learning is a two way street.  Naturally, students expect to learn many things from their teachers.  However, I think really good teachers try to learn something from their students too.  This is how we should look at technology.  As teachers we should embrace the idea that what we don't already know about technology, we can learn from colleagues, friends, family, and our own students.

Students approach technology with a fearless attitude, while some teachers approach it with apprehension and trepidation.  sometimes, there is not even an attempt made by teachers to make an effort, to step out into the unknown, to simply give it a try.  Isn't that what we tell our students?  To at least try!  We expect our students to trust us when we ask them to try learning new things.  However, a lot of teachers are not willing to do the same thing when it comes to technology.  If we no longer have an open mind, we are really doing our students a disservice.  When we fear technology, because embracing it causes us to step out of our comfort zone, we prevent our students from technology related learning opportunities in our classrooms.  I recently read a blog, 5 Big Education Technology Questions, Answered, written by Jeff Dunn who shares a similar sentiment.  Jeff says, "My methods of delivery and engaging students have been modified to keep up with changing technology.  We owe this to our students if they ever want gainful employment upon graduation.  We as instructors need to step outside our comfort zones and do them this service."
Friends, we can't allow fear to prevent us from being the best we can be as educators.  What many teachers can't seem to live without, others see as The Big Bad Technology Wolf.  Don't fear technology, be fearless!

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