Monday, February 9, 2009

Ask the right questions

Hare rant 2/09/09

It's not that our administrators and teachers are technology adverse. They want to use technology, but many have the idea that technology should behave and perform just the way they want it to. Maybe in some world that may be the case, but it doesn't appear to work that way in my public education setting. I find it frustrating to be brought into a conversation about policy and procedures affecting and depending on technology after the decisions have already been made. "Here it is. This what we're going to do, and oh, by the way we're implementing on Friday." Or worse, "Here is what we've purchased, make it work." Well, that may be well and good except for the fact the technology we have available doesn't necessarily work that particular way or with that particular purchase. Despite repeated efforts to explain the tools we have and what can be done with them and multiple requests to be included in technology decisions, this scenario happens again and again. I can usually provide ways to accommodate, but they might not be smooth or pretty and then I am seen as the obstacle to the solution instead of the problem solver.

Many of the blogs I read are well-researched and offer a treasure trove of ideas and resources. It is hard for me not to compare my blog with these. I don't have links to resources or examples of best practice to offer. I guess I am using this space to work through the stuff in my head with the hope that if someone should stumble upon it they might offer a suggestion I haven't considered. This is what I think I'll do. I have already met with the principal handful of times. These meetings did not go well as we clearly do not speak the same language. There is a another administrator who "gets it." I will go again to her with my concerns of being brought in at the beginning of every technology discussion. Whether it be communication, productivity, assessment or instructional technology, if I am going to be asked at any point in its use to make it work or support it I need to be included in the decision-making process.

On the topic of technology curriculum? I believe teaching students to ask the right questions would be of major importance. This is a skill weakness I see in the adults with whom I work. One cannot assume something that looks cool or sounds good is going to work. Yes, critical thinking is a skill far more important that placing transitions between PowerPoint slides.

No comments:

Post a Comment