After the readings and our first class, what is something in your practice that needs to change. Is there something that we did or read that sparked something in you.. and made you think - I could be doing something different that would make me more effective in my job, my life, or my role as a student?
As a fresh new teacher (probably among one of the first new generation of teachers that come from the digital native generation), this is such an interesting field for me because honestly I never even thought about what it might be like to teach without technology. Going through a fantastic elementary education program at OU, I was prepared to step into my first classroom expecting technology to be waiting, and was even equipped with a few SmartBoard lessons to begin my career. Low and behold in a brand new school that isn't considered Title 1 yet, we are severely lacking on the very same technology that my fellow peers and I were trained to use with our Digital Native students. Now this was not something I was ready for.
"The single biggest problem facing education today is that our
Digital Immigrant instructors, who speak an outdated language (that of
the predigital age), are struggling to teach a population that speaks an
entirely new language," Prensky says. Whoa, that's pretty intense. Now even though I myself am a Digital Native (as my students are), I was taught by people that spoke in the predigital age tongue. I remember how some of my lessons were delivered to me. But pair the problem of having to reach Digital Natives along with a class of 21 students of which English is not the first language and then throw in a pinch of oops-you-don't-have-technology-for-your-kiddos-have-fun-with-that and what happens? Initially, a feeling of confusion, despair, maybe even a little incompetence. What has happened is that I have become dependent on technology in the classroom so much so that I have no idea what to do without it.
Thinking about this, I've come to realize that in order for me personally to be more effective in my job, I need to think outside of the tech world. I need to unplug myself and get back to basics right now, because technology is not very accessible to me and my students. My first graders have already asked, "Mrs. Roland, why don't YOU have a insert-fancy-technology-here?" I've gone home several nights thinking to myself, "Oh, if only I had a insert-fancy-technology-here. THEN I could reach all of my students!" This is certainly not the case. Even though the Digital Native students I have are more engaged when technology is involved, this doesn't mean that I am ineffective. I need to change the way I think about my abilities as a teacher without technology, because only then will I begin to be effective. As a Digital Native teacher, however, this is a very hard belief to change.