I have a house. It is a lovely home, but there are areas that need improvement. For example, my bathtub is being used as a plant holder for a large plant over the winter. I have a closet hanging rod that is coming out of the wall, and my husband’s bathroom sink faucet is broken. It needs some help. But the flip side is that we could continue sharing my sink and taking showers and hanging clothing on a different rod. In theory, we could continue this way for quite some time. Or, I could put energy, time, and money into this area in order to make it more functional, beautiful, and engaging.
All of this got me thinking how easy it is to just stay with the status quo instead of trying to do better. We are faced with these situations often in life and no more so than in our classrooms. It begs the question “Is striving for excellence worth it?” Now, if you saw the rest of my house, you will already know where I am going with this. Of course it is worth it, and you better believe I will have that new bathroom asap!
But teachers, it is the same with your technology integration. It is wonderful that you are now using things like Google Classroom or Schoology to deliver content. It is awesome that you have things like Chromebooks or iPads at your disposal for student use. But are you incorporating growth and excellence with these tools or are you just simply coasting along using substitution methodology.
Edutopia recently published an excellent article about just this thought. Beth Holland along with Ann Feldmann, Jeffery Bernadt, and Jeannette Carlson analyzed the idea of innovation vs. digitization. They point out excellent things to consider when moving towards redefinition with technology integration
You must ask yourself how far you are willing to go to be excellent at technology integration. Are you coasting along or are you pushing the limits of what you have at your disposal? Do your students have choice on how they learn the curriculum? Are they publishing their own creations to the world? Have you established ways for students to learn at their own pace? Can you say that you utilize social media for more enhanced learning opportunities?
The journey of tech integration is just that. A journey. We can all improve and must improve. It takes time and commitment. Stay the course, stay connected, stay a learner.
“Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident.”
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
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