I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do. ~ Leonardo da Vinci
Change takes time. Baby steps. One day at a time. There is no shortage of admonitions about the process and pace of change. In education, it seems, we tend to listen to all of them. Proceeding at a rate that is exponentially slower than the world around us. When it comes to technology, we emphasize caution, safety, and a need to thoroughly understand before implementation. We are the proverbial tortoise — proceeding slowly in a race that requires a sense of urgency.
While meaningful change isn’t easy, the challenge of embracing new technology and associated pedagogy should be viewed as a necessity, not as something we will do at some point in the future–time and comfort levels permitting. So how do we speed up the change process, without completely throwing caution to the wind?
- Model the use of technology. Take every opportunity to demonstrate how technology can be integrated in the classroom, as both a teaching and administrative tool. Use Google Docs to collect and share information. Set-up a school Twitter account and Facebook page. Demonstrate any of the wide variety of web tools that can be used to enhance classroom instruction. Seeing is believing.
- Demonstrate that social media can be used for good. Work to dispel the notion that Twitter is just about where you ate for lunch and Facebook is synonymous with Farmville. Allow others to see how these tools can be utilized to improve communication, develop professionally, increase collaboration, and engage students.
- Be on the leading edge. Be willing to take a few risks and try something different in your classroom, or at your school. Challenge yourself to question current practices and consider how you might purposefully integrate technology to enhance your instruction (or school leadership).
Meaningful change requires a certain level of discomfort and expediency. Choose to be a little uncomfortable, challenge others to take reasonable risks, and create a sense of calculated urgency with regard to the utilization of educational technology.