For the past year or so, I have been privileged to serve teachers and students in my district by assisting them with all things digital teaching and learning. Long before this position, I was in love with technology tools to help my life easier. The thought of using devices to reach the needs of students at a much faster rate than I could on my own drew me in and lead me to explore and experiment in my classroom. When I was afforded the opportunity to help open the first STEM campus in my district as a sixth grade math teacher in 2011, I jumped at the opportunity. I can remember our principal's excitement at receiving a cart of netbooks and a case of iPods. Many teachers were apprehensive to use them, and looking back, I can't say that I was using them in the best way. However, I knew we were on the cusp of something, and I was eager to bring technology into my classroom every single chance that I could. My students would light up at the opportunity to complete their work on tiny screens, work that traditionally was completed with pencil and paper. I found myself adapting activities to enable students to use technology more and more simply because their interest and engagement was so much higher when they were given a device.
Fast forward to today. Now, I see myself as a technology evangelist, traveling from campus to campus spreading the good news of the power of technology for teaching and learning. However, I can say it often comes with what feels like opposition. While I love all things tech and surround myself with tools that make my life easier both at work and at home, I have found myself going back to connect with the why. Why do students need devices? Why am I pushing teachers and students to use technology?
What is your why? Why do you use technology or support teachers in an effort to use it with students? For the remainder of this school year, we should strive to remain connected with "The Why", and it should be our driving force as we support teachers in embracing technology for teaching and learning.