I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
Henry David Thoreau
How Fast is TOO Fast?
You would think that a pencil has lost its glitz and glamor. It seems so anyways. The pencil was invented over 170 years ago-in fact, Henry David Thoreau once worked in a pencil factory. That must have been cutting edge in the 1850's. Lots was considered to be "cutting edge" in the era of Henry. The world was sizing up the latest technologies. The railroad industry was seeping into the American fabric- chugging up the East Coast of America. Wagons and horses once roamed the cobble stone streets of New England... the steam engine slowly steamed its way into a culture that was slow to change in today's standards. But imagine what the residents of the quaint New England town, Concord, Massachusetts, would have done had their slow and steady technology changes from the wagon to the train happened in no less than 5 years? It is a compelling thought? In the year 2007, the world of technology looked starkly different than the world we behold now in 2015. In less than 7 years, our world has changed dramatically.... exponentially!
Our small Mill Pond world is also going through a lightning fast cultural/paradigm shift with the iPad roll out. The change can be overwhelming to even the most tech savvy among us. But consider my top 5 Henry David Thoreau/Murphy's Law iPad rollout Reminders:
1: Remember to relax. Technology never behaves and things inevitably will go wrong and at the worst possible time...like in front of your students. So chill. Your students will learn how to cope with your surfer dude attitude.
2. You do NOT have to use technology just because you have it. Only use technology if it impacts student learning that otherwise would not be impacted without technology.
3. No one will judge you if you do not know how to navigate around our new digital world. Chill. Even our students who are considered to be "digital natives" do not know how to navigate around the thousands of apps and sites. Universal icons need to be explicitly taught. See ipad lessons pages on this website for examples.
4. Go outside. We are way too connected and disconnected at the same time. Kids need to be reminded of this too.
5. There is no possible way you will ever master any technology tool or site. Sorry. I know that one was like ripping off a bandaid. But seriously, technology changes in a blink of an eye. The minute you master that app or site, they will change it ( There is Murphy's Law again) or the company will go kerplunk. Your solid pedagogy never changes. You can count on that.
Henry David Thoreau and Murphy would have been good friends just not in the 21st Century. Bottom line: celebrate the possibilities of an iPad in the classroom but remember it is all about the pedagogy...not the tool.