Today I have a really special post for you about EdTech.tv, a great website for teachers to learn about using technology. EdTech.tv was started this year by Brent Warner, an ESOL educator and tech enthusiast based in California. Brent was a classmate of mine at USC, so he even agreed to tell you about the site himself. I am thrilled to be able to introduce you to EdTech.tv and hope you check it out today. Take it away, Brent!
“If you can’t meet your students where they are, they’ll never follow you where you want to take them.”
Being a teacher in today’s environment is far different than at any other time in the history of education. In the past, inventions such as chalk boards, film projectors, OHPs, and the like helped us find different ways to connect with our students. We had years to work with them and master them, and, frankly, not a lot of thought went into stretching their true potential.
Now we’ve stepped into a new era, where anyone with a laptop can be a content creator. We’re no longer bound by what big publishers tell us to do and instead we can customize how we work with our own content and our preferred technologies. Instead of years to master the new technologies, we have days.
While this is an undeniable benefit, for many it’s an intimidating task. Most teachers I know were never trained to bring technology into the classroom and the best training they’ve gotten was at a weekend seminar teaching them how to make a basic PowerPoint. While these efforts are noble, teachers only have to glance up from their lesson plans to see that their students are flying right by them—using technology in ways the teachers never even considered possible, let alone worth trying.
Recognizing the growing gap between teachers and students, I launched EdTech.tv. The goal of the site is to create an empowering community and resource for teachers who truly desire to be as effective as possible, but might not know where to start. It’s my intention to bring some simple, and some more complicated tutorials that can help spark ideas in the minds of proactive instructors.
Many times when I tell people what I do with my site, they look bemused and respond along the lines of “I’ve been teaching for ___ years, and I’ve been fine without all this technology.”
But that kind of dismissal makes me think about the last time I was at the dentist. Recently I had to get an overlay procedure done, and I was a little wary because I’d done similar procedures when I was younger. I was apprehensive because I knew it would require several visits: X-rays, molding, sending off to the lab, and the actual overlay.
Imagine my surprise when the whole process took about an hour and 20 minutes. This was not my childhood dental procedure.
Teaching should be the same. You don’t have to turn your world upside down, but incremental incorporation of technology should be a regular part of your routine. If you’re teaching the same way you taught 10 years ago, the truth is that you haven’t been developing yourself as a teacher. A student who comes to you now should not expect the same experience as a student who came to you 10 years ago, much the way I shouldn’t have expected my dental procedure to be as slow and consuming as it was when I was younger.
EdTech.tv is designed to help you take those incremental steps. It’s not demanding, and it’s not overwhelming. My intention is to bring you practical and actionable steps that will bring you one step closer to where your students already are. Where you take them after that is up to you.