A couple of weeks ago, listening to the NCQ podcast, I heard of a quote made by Christine Dowd. She had said, as part of a keynote address, that “…Technology is anything that was invented after you were born.” I immediately thought, “What a clever thing to say, this makes so much sense.” Then I started thinking, “What good is this quote, beyond seeing teachers nod their heads with understanding and satisfaction.”
I’ve finally come to conclusion on what bothers me about this quote. It’s an excuse. When personal computers first appeared in radio shack catalogs, I had already been teaching for a number of years. Computers (technology) had nothing to do with what I taught, how I taught, and what I thought of as the definition of being a teacher. According to this quote, I can lump computers, handhelds, the Internet, my mobile phone, even my digital watch (I closeted my digital watch when I took up the mobile phone) under the category of Technology, and excuse myself from deeply examining their impact on what I do and why, and simply try to integrate it into my existence.
I don’t believe that this is an excuse. I believe that it is a problem, that lumping new inventions together, just because we are challenged to make sense of them as part of our living and working is a waste of some enormous opportunities. Open up folks. Celebrate our time of rapid change. It’s exciting. If we know, understand, use, and dream, then we can embrace and leverage change for a better world.
2 cents worth!