Me: "How do I get there?"
Parent/Husband/Etc: "We've been there tons of times. How do you not know how to get there?"
Me: "I just don't. How do I get there?"
Parent/Husband/Etc: "You sat right next to me when we went." OR "You followed my directions/GPS last time."
Me: "Just tell me how to get there."
I cannot tell you the number of times I've had this conversation, especially with my husband. (You would think that he would know by now that he might as well just tell me, rather than bother with the questions.) Yes, I have a terrible sense of direction. Interestingly, the one place I know my way around is Atlanta. This seems weird to most people but when analyzing it, it's not weird at all. I moved to Atlanta to go to college and had no one but my brother, who already lived there, to give me directions. If you know anything about Atlanta, then you know there are often situations where you better know an alternate route to get somewhere or you are in trouble! Since I did not have a GPS at the time nor someone who would be able to give me directions whenever I might need them, I had to figure it out myself. While I do not claim to know every route there is to know about Atlanta, I usually can figure out where I am and how to get where I'm going pretty quickly.
Why is this not weird? Because I had to learn by doing. In order to live, work, and go to school, I had to learn my way around and how to solve a potential issue (like running into traffic while also running late to class) quickly. I would never have learned this if someone had written down the directions for me or if I used a GPS. Don't get me wrong - written directions or a GPS are life-savers for me most of the time. But I know, without a shadow of doubt, that I learned Atlanta by exploring, experiencing, and doing.
So why am I telling you this? Many of you may have figured it out. The reason I tell you this story is because using technology is much the same way. Written directions, guided instruction, or an instructional video will get you started but be careful - you may quickly get dependent on these and not know how to navigate yourself out of a minor problem. Allow Kim and I to get you started with a tool, but recognize the true potential of exploring these tools completely on your own. You will get so much more out of them if you do!
I know we talk a lot about Google. Obviously not all of technology in the classroom is Google-based but when I saw this video, the teacher at the beginning struck a chord with me. She notes that she saw teachers around her passing her. She says she felt that if she couldn't get this, it would be time for her to retire. Finish the video and see her and a few students talk about why education is valuable to them and why digital learning gives both students AND teachers an opportunity to do some really great things! No matter who you are and where you are at in your career, you can do new things and it will be valuable to those precious people sitting in your classroom.