Noel Erskine, Technology Coordinator Norris Schools

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Some educators may need to learn from these two 80 year old mothers using technology!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

We must use technology to meet students needs in today's classrooms.

I believe that we are blessed with a lot of dedicated teachers in our country that are truly doing their best to educate the youth of today to prepare them for the world of tomorrow.  Many students bring a lot of baggage with them to the classroom that we must deal with in education. Combine that with state testing, student activities, and a variety of challenges we deal with on a daily basis... and it really makes you appreciate the value of a teacher and the impact they have on our students and ultimately our entire countries future. As one of my past Tweets indicated.... a teacher's impact can be amazing and a real bargain.  " The $320,000 Kindergarten Teacher."

I believe that a great teacher, will look to utilize any tool they can get their hands on to reach students in their classroom.  If you too believe that statement, then why would a teacher not be one of the most tech-savvy individuals you know? Yes, sometimes they are... and sometimes that may not be the case.  If you are an educator, I challenge you to improve your technology skills to increase your effectiveness in the classroom.  Yes, you still need discipline, student rapport, organization and empathy within the classroom... but with today's students you need the technology tools to really maximize student learning within your classroom.

Yesterday, I had one of our elementary teachers, send me an email about getting an iPad. Her email stated: "My sister just sent me this picture yesterday of my 80 year old mother and her 87 year old sister using their iPads to play bridge and e-mail each other!" She went on to indicate her interest in an iPad and her thought that "If my 80 year old mother can run one of these things, so can I". 
80 year old mother and her 87 year old sister using their iPads 

We need to be able to look at our parents, other educators, and our students and challenge ourselves with that same fervor and decide.... now is time for me to do this, and "Yes, I can use this technology."

After reading Tom Whitby blog article "Generational Divide in Education", October 17, 2011. I agree with his thoughts "This is not a generational problem. It is a learning problem. If I want to affect their lives (Students) in any way I need to do so on their terms with tools for learning that they accept and will use moving forward. I grew up with a slide rule, I don’t think they are even made any more. Why would I use it to teach a kid who has a mobile app that will take him much further than a slide rule ever could."

As educators, we must first learn to use this technology so we can meet students on their terms.  If we are not doing this, then are we challenging ourselves less than these 80 year old mothers that were willing to roll up their sleeves and learn to use a new technology!

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