Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Becoming A Confident Instructional Technologist

Truths about Julie:
  •  I don't like it when people don't like me.
  •  I don't like it when I think people MAY NOT like me.
  •  I don't like it when I say something that might make people THINK ABOUT not liking me. 
Yes, as you can tell these are ME issues. I realize I can't make everybody happy all the time. I'm aging and striving to be less of a "people pleaser" in my life (a healthy balance is needed).  I realize I often make decisions from a fearful perspective although most people don't see my outgoing, sometimes outspoken personality that way. I am an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, surrounded by mystery. Or at least my often competing personalities feels that way at times.

That being said, after dealing with some technology issues this last week that were not pleasant for me, I realized that I am often not standing my ground regarding Instructional Technology usage in the elementary setting for fear of push back. I have thought long and hard on this issue last week and this week and decided it's time to make a change. (Any time I am faced with an uncomfortable situation I ask myself what I can learn from it- underscored and bolded). 

I believe in the power of gaming and that creative thinking apps would, could, and should benefit our elementary students. BUT, I haven't "lived that." I'm currently coming up with a list of creative thinking apps to add to a folder on all the iPads in all the carts in the elementary school. These apps will include coding opportunities as well as games designed to improve students' critical thinking and creativity skills.

I see these apps being available to be used during recess time when it is rainy or too cold to go outside. I see these apps being used by teachers as an incentive for getting something else done, etc. I see these apps being used during center time on a regular basis in some of our grade levels. The opportunities are endless and the research of positive effects are widely proven. 

Will I get some pushback? Probably some...but I have decided to stand firmer in my role as an Instructional Technologist. I've decided to give my teachers more opportunities to use technology in the classroom with this outlet. I have decided to stand firmer and be bolder. I'm not going where no man has ever gone before, but in my community I do feel I little bit more pioneering than ever before. 

These aren't new ideas, I was using these apps and teaching coding when I had my own classroom two years ago. The biggest difference is that now every technology decision that is made is more closely scrutinized. I'm down with that. Let the mind blowing critical thought begin!