Let’s Forget EdTech in 2013

I want to propose something crazy: I think we talk too much about education technology. I’m guilty of it, and it’s been weighing on me over Christmas break. Maybe I’m projecting some of my concerns out there, but let me explain a little bit.

2012 seemed like an edtech explosion to me. Every week, I would hear about some new tool that lets teachers and students do this or that, which is great. But all of the focus was on how the tool will revolutionize or change your teaching. The problem I have with this is that too many people are falling into the trap of trying to teach to the tool, rather than using the tool to teach.

There is a major distinction that needs to be made: pedagogy must be the focus of any teacher improvement plan. What is our philosophy of teaching and learning? How do we approach instruction and assessment? What content is important? How will we work with students to support learning? Then, at the point where we are supporting learning, when the ground work has been laid, we can begin to look into technology. I am saying this as a confessed non-practicer (at least consistently) of the workflow.

I’ve fallen into the trap of seeing something awesome and trying to squeeze it into the class for the sake of using it. There is no lower connection for me, so meaningful use doesn’t translate to the classroom space.

What I’m hoping to see (and participate in) are blog posts and articles that walk readers through the process of choosing a tool. What goals are you trying to accomplish? How does that tie into your learning process in the big picture? How are students supported? How is your process supported? How did that tool meet or not meet those goals?

We’ve got the resources and we’ve got the product reviews. It’s time to start putting them to better work together.

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