Not to get all “Napoleon Dynamite” on you, but I love technology.
I was fortunate to have parents who were early adopters in the 1980s–I cannot remember a time when we did not have a computer in our home. Then in my mid-20s, not long after the Information Superhighway was in a majority of American homes, I dated a guy whose profession was IT. He taught me all kinds of troubleshooting (tricks that still work today, mind you) and I’ve been a total technology disciple ever since.
But as of late, I’m experiencing some technology fatigue.
I realized this today as I watched my Journalistic Writing students do peer revisions. On paper.
(Remember paper? You can hold it in your hands and write on it.)
I don’t teach in a 1:1 school, and all the labs are booked. So I printed copies of their stories and we discussed what they should look for as they read each other’s stories. They spent time reading, and then they moved around the classroom and had discussions. They talked. Face to face, they shared strengths and weaknesses of their writing. It was welcome noise to my ears. When I schedule lab time, many of them collaborate via Google Docs, but I don’t hear it. And I miss hearing those conversations.
I am drowning in digital clutter myself, and while I get better all the time at managing it all, I sometimes wonder if I’m missing out on other experiences by relying so much on technology. And I worry that the words “technology,” “engagement,” and “relevance” all get conflated with the word “fun.”
My heresy is evolving, and I know I won’t ever leave technology on the side of the road–I love it too much, and I know I can find ways to balance its use in my classroom. But I also feel a need to evaluate and moderate, maybe even push back a little when I feel like I’m on a technology binge.