Technology in today’s classroom is a must. Students, even young toddlers, can’t imagine a world where they are entertained by toys that aren’t electronic, make noise, or require an outlet. Let’s face it; their world is vastly different from the one we grew up in! So fearful of technology or not, we as teachers need to incorporate it into our everyday classroom instruction. There are many things in this world that I am fearful of. I wouldn’t say technology itself is one of them. I think I am unsure of technology, or easily frustrated when it decides not to work correctly (or at least as correctly as I think it should).
The phrase, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink” comes to mind when I think about technology in the classroom. I do feel that many teachers are unsure about how to manage and use various forms of technology. I also feel that limited availability is a barrier to others. While our school has some technology, it pales in comparison to other school within the same district. What technology we do have needs to be shared and transported amongst many teachers. This takes extra time and preparation. Due to these “fears”, many teachers stay far away from any technology they are not required to use. However, as I look around my elementary school, I notice some teachers are very comfortable and successful in using and teaching about technology. They are helping our students meet the ISTE NET standards. Their students are collaborating, researching, problem solving, and developing products. While I am far from guzzling the water my horse has lead me to, I am beginning to take small sips.
As I look towards the immediate future, I am looking for ways to face my “fears” of the uncertainties and frustrations that accompany technology. The only way to overcome these “fears” is to face them, which means using technology. I am finding ways to incorporate the classroom set of iPods and lap tops our school has into lessons and activities. I already use premade power points throughout my reading instruction. My goal is to now create my own power points. Who knows, maybe by the end of school year I will have my students creating their own power points. Stay tuned as my journey through the world of technology continues.