The More Things Change ~ Reflections from #BIT14

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"Excuses change nothing, but make everyone feel better" ~ Mason Cooley

 

I started the title for this blog with a partial quote "The more things change..." because of what I have experienced with the use of technology in the classroom over my career. The technology has changed dramatically, but not so much how it is used and who is using it. For the second year in a row I was honoured to present at the Bring IT Together conference in Niagara Falls. This year I presented with my good friend @sbruyns on being a connected administrator. Although I thought our session went very well I left the conference with a sense of emptiness. 

The sessions I attended were valuable and the keynotes were excellent. What really struck me though was something that Ron Canuel talked about during his Friday morning keynote. The idea that it's always the same faces, and the same message at these conferences. Everyone attending knows the power that effective integration of technology can have with students. We know that it isn't about the technology itself, it's about the pedagogy. We know what engages students in our classrooms today. The problem is that this has been the same message, presented by the same people to the same attendees. It's like we have our own little clique that we want others to join, but no one is rushing in.

How is it that after so many years of preaching about the benefits of integrating technology that we still have the same people leading the way. I think it's that age old fear of change. Sure there may be a trickle of newbies coming out of the shadows to join us in leading the way, but for the most part it's the lone wolf at the school trying to drag people into our world, sometimes kicking and screaming. Don't get me wrong, I understand that change is hard, but it's not impossible. How do we as leaders get those unwilling to change onboard? If you have the answer I'd suggest you talk to a copyright lawyer because you'll be rich in no time. Maybe the simple answer is to do what Ron challenged all the attendees to do for next year's conference. Bring someone new. Someone who has never been to an educational technology conference. Because in Ron's words "change requires courage. Early adaptors don't convince, mid-adaptors do."

I love Ron's idea. It's a great start. What ideas do you have? I'd love to hear them.

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  • I couldn't agree more! I've already started to think about next year's conference and who I might bring along. Two years ago, when I first attended and presented, I invited two staff members to come ~ Michelle Cordy and Erin Porter. Michelle was and continues to be a champion of technology. It was Erin's excitement and fresh set of eyes that really had the most profound impact on how to truly appreciate the benefits of such a conference.
    We know the importance of ensuring that technology is embedded across the curriculum, so as I consider next year's participants, I'm excited about bringing members of our literacy team, who can take what they know about Literacy and see the technology connections.