On March 2, 2013 I had the honor and privilege to give the keynote at WEtech 13. The theme of the conference was Technology + Teaching = Student Engagement and the theme of my keynote was ENGAGE. Below is the last of three posts from my speech designed to encourage educators to engage in the use of technology to improve instruction and enhance learning.
We need to create opportunities for student engagement that allow learning to transcend the classroom and we have to improve learning and learning opportunities in our subject areas that create global perspectives. Today, there are opportunities to learn about other cultures and communities directly from the people in those culture and communities. Technology bridges the gap. We just need to be willing to…
Today’s conference will help you be better at engaging our students and it will help you help other educators use technology in their classrooms to engage our students. But how do WE do that?
The first step is to expose other educators to it through modeling its use. Don’t be pushy. Just use it and talk about its use in your classroom, the faculty room and in the halls. Explain how it’s improving student learning and making you more efficient.
The second step is to encourage those who show an interest. As you talk and expose your student and other educators to the uses of technology for education some will like what they see. It’s our responsibility to help those who show an interest get an understanding of what is possible.
The third step is to ask to demonstrate it to a few colleagues or at a faculty meeting and show them how it enhances and improves student learning and makes us better educators. There is so much technology out there today that many educators do not know where to start and others are just scared of it. Remind our colleagues they just need to pick something, try it and experiment.
It is our responsibility to help them…
As we think about our profession and how it is evolving we realize that we are training students for jobs and responsibilities that do not exist yet and as a result we can not teach them in a manner that reinforces the past. Technology will be an integral part of our future and so it should be equally as important in our learning and teaching.
Every day I see how technology is being integrated into our general routines. We will never be replaced by a box but we must also understand that we will need to work in conjunction with the box.With these in mind we need to think of educating students differently and better than the way we were trained in college and better than we were taught. Not because we were poorly taught but because learning has changed and if learning has changed so must teaching change.
I do not remember a class in college on using technology in the classroom when I was training to be an educator. But there are classes now for new graduates. I do not remember any classes on using technology and social media to engage our students as learners outside of the classroom but there should be AND not just for the future teachers training to be educators tomorrow. It should be there for us too. So we can use it now.
So we can … ENGAGE … Our colleagues around the world…grow our Professional Learning Networks… and so we can collaborate and share.
So other educators sitting in a presentation to start their school year are not told that they will be replaced by a box. So our students can ENGAGE in learning that teaches them to be better students, that learning happens everywhere and that they can get the very best learning environment from us.
We have a vital role in helping our profession evolve so that we are not replaced by a box or an ipad or the next great piece of technological creativity. Our role includes helping others to understand the benefit of technology’s integration into learning. We are responsible for our students’ learning and our students’ engagement. We, educators, are here to learn and to teach as long as we understand that:
TECHNOLOGY + TEACHING = STUDENT ENGAGEMENT
And that formula will take us forward, no matter what the future holds or how technology evolves, or how our profession evolves as long as…
WE AS EDUCATORS AGREE THAT IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO OUR STUDENTS AND OUR PROFESSION TO…
Thank you and let’s start WE Tech…