(This was originally posted on the InTouch blog)

As our division works in schools to help train teachers and administrators on what it means to be literate in the 21st century, one of two responses usually follow:

1. Wow! I didn’t really want to come to this but I am so glad I did! This is cool and my students are going to love it!


2. I do not have time for this. Why are you wasting my time? You cannot possibly ask me to do one more thing…

My question is this: Can we afford to be technology illiterate in this ever-changing world? Can we afford not to use technology in our teaching? Our district is reviewing what we call our “non-negotiables” in curriculum and teaching. When will technology become a non-negotiable? Would our students put it in that category? Is it not an integrated part of their lives?

For the teachers who do not want “one more thing added to my plate,” I wonder why you do not see how technology can condense and simplify your lessons. Why can you not see what technology does for student engagement? Technology is not going away. It will only get more advanced and integrated into our lives. Please open your mind and begin to see the possibilities. Without it, you may lay victim to the latest education acronym: NTLB (No Teacher Left Behind). I promise you that the students will not be left behind. You will.

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach stated last year at the NCaect conference, “Teachers will never be replaced by computers. However, teachers who do not use computers will be replaced by those who do.”

Image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/cgoulao/411835782/sizes/s/

Making a change

I am again reminded how easy it is to become locked into your four walls and forget that other people have different realities and ways of doing things. I left my former school system and have started working in a system a little over double the size.

Where I have always felt tech literate, I am realizing that there are a lot more ways to do things with technology. My new school system uses technology for EVERYTHING! Grades, attendance, progress reports, report cards, automated calling to parents/staff, staff development registration/tracking, approval/tracking of leave, approval of software, lunch menus, data warehousing, locating/scheduling substitutes, and much more! It truly gives me a picture of what our students are going to face in their futures.

I am so excited about the possibilities and the amount of learning ahead of me. It is time to grow…