“I’m not very techy”. I used this excuse last year as I started in EC&I 831 and now I find it similar to “I’m not good at Math”- it’s baloney. It was a convenient excuse for not partaking in the online world and using many of the resources available to me. Completing that course and thinking a lot about what I learned in the months that followed gave me a new perspective on this excuse. I don’t accept it anymore- not from myself nor from others.
I also heard this excuse in my Grade 10 classroom from students as they learn to navigate Google Classroom and their new Chromebooks. They are the technology generation, they can’t just check out and claim that they aren’t good at technology. My students and I have something in common- enough skill to figure out the online world when we put our minds to it instead of checking out with the convenient “I’m not techy excuse”.
I took a huge leap (for me- I am one of the people who had to sign up for Twitter and Google+ because of Alec’s class) and I am using Google Classroom for all of my classes this year. Not only is it a step in the environmentally-friendly direction by greatly reducing our use of paper, but it also forces the students to navigate the online world and learn to use Google Docs/Drive- something a surprisingly small number of them know how to do. I do not know it all yet, and I don’t pretend to, but together we are learning and problem solving along the way.
I learned a lot in the 4 months I took EC&I 831 last fall. I learned even more in the last 8 months as I have started to teach using these tools and skills (I was on maternity leave at the time I took the course). I think we need to stop using “I’m not techy” as an excuse to avoid doing something and start challenging ourselves to become active in the online world. I now use Twitter routinely and am connecting with educators online. I feel I am heading in the right direction to build my online presence and use technology to benefit my teaching.
If you haven’t made this jump yet, it’s ok- it takes time, but it is well worth your effort once you start.