It goes without saying that technology is around us and it is almost inevitable that we communicate with it in every movement of our lives: CDs, emails, the Internet, the Internet, ATMs and the World Wide Web also seem to incorporate into our everyday vocabulary that most people will not even ask what we are talking about.
They will know for sure what we mean, even those who are not technology-minded.
We all know that technology is always evolving, and when we think we've discovered how it works, we have an invasion of new developments, tools and tools that make us wonder if we're still in the first box. We are not. We are only in the middle of an endless quest for knowledge. This is not what education is all about? The words mentioned above are part of our daily life now, and we may feel that it was not complicated in the first place. But they were! As it is right now, we may seem to hear about blogs, iPods, poscasting, broadcasting, RSS, etc. On the other hand, this will be so that we feel comfortable hearing and talking about them. The pursuit of learning on …. for good!
However, the aim of this article is not to tell you that technology is always evolving – something you already know for sure – but I share some of the reasons why I personally like to study the use of technology in the classroom and why I think every teacher should use it as much as possible whenever possible .
I have been teaching English as a second language and Spanish as a second language for more than 14 years, and I have always noticed in my career how students feel magic when dealing with technology.
You can see it in their eyes, that the sparkle of passion disturbs them every time they communicate with them.
However, the same does not apply to teachers. I have noticed that many teachers feel either intimidated or overcoming new technological advances, as if, in a way, they have to put themselves in a forgotten position long ago, i.e. students. And it is true that with new technologies, we are all educated. But also in life we are educated !!! Who can say "I know everything"? Certainly I could not! To narrow it down a bit, who can say "I know everything there is to know about my area of expertise?" I couldn't say that either. I have to accept that there is a world of knowledge asking or even asking for exploration and it is up to us in this research to discover more and more every day. Will we be able to know everything? I think it would be like asking if we could ever pump all the water into the ocean. We may not be able to do that, but what a fun time we can get while trying to do so!
It is widely understood that we as teachers are not always meeting new trends, but if we try to relax and lose their fear, we will notice that they are not our enemies but our allies. It is true that if I wanted to stand before my students with an aura of absolute power and knowledge, this may not be the best approach, but I wonder, is it good that this position be in front of our students? Is it good for our own development and growth to have this kind of situation? "I know everything, and if there is something I don't do, I will do like an ostrich and lay my head under the floor." Is this what we really want to do? With or without technology, this situation will most often be our main cause of frustration and rejection from colleagues and students alike, in fact with everyone we communicate with.
Unfortunately, this is what happens in most classrooms these days. Many teachers simply do not deal with technology, either out of fear of the unknown, or even to give some form of power to students ,. After all, isn't it true that teachers learn and students learn? Well yes … but let's not forget and always bear in mind that we all learn. The more I teach and see how my students interact, the more I learn about them, about myself, how to reach them, about my educational practices. All of that is part of the teaching experience. There is no such clear distinction anymore.
Undoubtedly, young people feel more attracted to new technologies than adults. They spend a lot of time dealing with it until they become independent experts. In fact, they know a lot! Maybe more than we do! So what? When some teachers seem to be a problem or fear, I see a possibility!
Think of the great opportunity to involve these students in sharing part of the knowledge that they gained hours and hours in front of the computer, for example. They can share many things with the rest of the class so everyone and you yourself can learn from their experience. Do not view them as threats but as allies in your quest for knowledge. You may not know a thing, a little or maybe a lot about their favorite topics! Did not matter. You can start using the new technologies immediately! How? very easy. With a few tips and tricks, any teacher can start using them right away! Just think about this:
How effective are your lessons if you can create your own website with exactly the materials you need with your students? Think about the benefits of this in class, if you have never done anything like this.
"Yes, right," many will say. "I just learned checking my email and now you're expecting me to create a website! It looks good but very optimistic and unrealistic!"
My answer will be: "Do you know how to use a word processor?"
If your response is "yes," then I will tell you that if you know how to use a word processor, learning how to create a website will take another 10 minutes.
If your response is “No,” it may take 15-20 minutes to create your first website.
Yes, you heard me right! Another ten to twenty minutes and you'll have your website up and running! What about the program? Do you need some special programs?
Well, if you have a word processor like WORD, you don't need any other special program. Would do!
Our goal in this article is not to explain how to create a website, but I promise you that I will post in another part of these mini articles. What I want to highlight here is that technology doesn't need to be difficult to implement. In fact, the opposite is true. We have to lose fear of it, and we can accomplish unimaginable tasks for us just one year ago! Losing a fear of technology is everything! Once you decide to implement new technologies in the classroom, you are on your way to this end. It is your decision that matters most. Put your mind on it and the rest will be easy to navigate.
Why do students love "technology" so much? Simply put, technology has a magical component. It's the thrill of exploring something new, and it's an unpopular path of begging to explore. I call it "Matrix syndrome". If you've seen the movie called "The Matrix", then you probably know what I mean, this little thing that drives you to know more, and this does not leave you until you have answered all the questions, and you get an idea at the time. Once one of them is exposed, another closely related one appears, putting your mind in motion to try to figure out what might happen next. You can't get away from you and look forward to more and more, like begging addiction to feed you. The good thing is that this is an addiction to knowledge.
If you are not technology-oriented, think about how much your students might lose, not because your lessons are not good enough. It can be excellent lessons. But just imagine how much you can empower your lessons by adopting new technologies and taking advantage of those students who have some experience in this field. Not only will you take your lessons to the next level, but you will also take a large share of magic in your classroom. And when you see this sparkle in your students' eyes, you will surely know that you made the right decision.