Being a part of Pike’s DLC has made me stretch myself as an educator. I have tried many things that were previously outside my comfort zone. I’d like to share one of those experiences. One of our assignments was to participate in a book study. I was a little dubious at first. None of the books really caught my attention initially. Lacking any real inspiration, I chose my book based on the people who had already signed up. I thought if I have to read a book I’m not interested in, at least I’ll be able to discuss it with people I like.
When I received my book, Matt Miller’s Ditch that Textbook, I was still not sold. I was flipping through it before one of my classes. My students could tell that I was not excited and were also shocked to learn that teachers still have homework too. Based on the title, I thought I was going to open it up and be given unrealistic advice on throwing out textbooks—I mean it was literally called ditch that textbook.
Before even approaching the subject of textbooks, the author spends several chapters on mindset. Changing our mindset must come before textbooks and curriculum. I think I am somewhere in the middle of the spectrum ranging from technology superstar teachers to would prefer not to turn their computer on teachers. I try to use different forms of technology in my instruction but it can still be very overwhelming.
One of my key takeaways from the book was using technology is far and away from using technology effectively. I starred and underline the following quote I’d like to share.
“The bottom line is that pedagogy must drive technology. The mindset that fuels digital learning is: Good teaching trumps good tools.” (p. 68)
Prior to reading this book, the term “digital learning” would have been overwhelming. I would have assumed that it meant I had to change everything. I am a perfectionist—so if I was going to change my teaching then I wanted to do it all at once and do it correctly. One lesson I’ve drawn from this book is that digital learning and using technology is a journey. It’s not something to complete or even master. There’s always going to be a new tool or new program-something new to learn. I am not going to get to the point where I am “done”. As I reflect on the journey, I can see it represented in our DLC. There are teachers who started off the semester already integrating different digital tools into their curriculum. There are also teachers like me who are closer to the beginning of the journey.
Technology isn’t supposed to replace the relationships we form with students. It shouldn’t replace engaging discussions. It shouldn’t replace the personal touches we add like using our students’ names in homework and quizzes. Technology is another tool for us to add to our repertoire.
Today’s post comes from Ms. Mave Davis. Mave is in her third year of teaching at Pike High School. She teaches Spanish for the World Language Department. Mave has taught a variety of other subjects and grades from 4th grade to college Spanish to pre-K ESL. Whatever the age, she’s all about forming relationships with students. Follow her on twitter @SraMDavis.