Enthralled; Shiny And New

“Technology is not technology if it happened before you were born.  I was not very excited about electricity – it wasn’t some major breakthrough for me – however, it was for my grandparents.  And our kids aren’t really that excited about a lot of technologies now that excite adults, they simply take them for granted.”  -Sir Ken Robinson

A very poignant statement to overlay upon our current circumstances.  You can almost feel the crookedly pointed finger of our conscience reach out and jab you right in the middle of the forehead.  Tap, tap, tap…incessantly.  Prodding.  Leaving you teetering on the precipice of this technology tipping point.  Asking…

Is this a valid reflection of our current reality?  Is our technological reality that far removed from that of our students?  And if so, where do we go from here?

Worth reflection and consideration.  Is Sir Kenneth Robinson correct?  Did he hit the proverbial nail on the head?  If so, we may as well be serving as the uninformed used car salesman trying to sell our students on the technology equivalent of an old Chevy Nova disguised as a Maserati.  Very often what we find to be shiny and new can appear to them as old and clunky.  It is a matter of perspective…

A perspective we as the adults in the system need to take into account.

Otherwise and unwittingly, we find it hard to conceal our frustration when our student’s breath isn’t whisked away when we unveil that shiny, new piece of technology.  We find ourselves asking where is their zeal and excitement?

And maybe at one time it was a technological Maserati…

Unfortunately, by the time it finally has gotten into the very hands of our students it may have decayed to the equivalent of that Chevy Nova.  Outdated and inefficient.

Very often what excites and even scares some of us…is just taken for granted by our students.  And for them, it is very often neither new, shiny, or exciting.  And it is best we take that as a neutral, neither negative nor positive, just a reality we face in educating our students.  Serving as a point of next steps rather than one of frustration in our uphill battle towards catching up our technology to that which envelops the lives of our students outside of the school setting.

I leave you with another quote from…along with the short video that spurred this post.  As the adults in the system, we need to take a very long and critical look at the technology that enthralls and excites us – and determine if that very same technology is the best or right digital tools we need to be placing in the hands of our students.

“Our students have a facility with digital technology and it is right and proper we build them into education.  The tools themselves are creating cultural changes and possibilities which are really quite new our students are connected not only with the people in the room around them but literally anybody on the planet that they want to be connected, too.”

“And that is an entirely new cultural proposition I think and it changes the game.”  -Sir Kenneth Robinson


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