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Get Over It!

There are, no doubt,  many technophobes (among educators and in general) out there. Technophobia is defined by The Free Dictionary as:

Fear of or aversion to technology, especially computers and high technology.


Over the years, I have seen “the fear” many times. A popular idiom used here in the USA is to compare the signs of that fear to “deer in headlights” The eyes of the technophobe are widened and a form of paralysis sets in as soon as I approach. Although, I emphasize modern teaching, learning and pedagogy, I am perceived as a “technology guru”, justifying the terrified look (How could an educator have fear of teaching, learning or pedagogy?)

  • I try to downplay the part technology plays… (No mention of the word “technology” in my job title, emphasizing of the skills, not tools)
  • I try to convince that students will be able to take the “technology” part into their hands, that the teacher did not have to worry about it …
  • I offer to “hold hands” during lessons, in case the feared technology failed, and paralysis sets in…
  • I write step by step tutorials to allow practicing of skills, introducing new tools, planning lessons together
  • I showcase the potential of amplification, engagement, motivation and learning potential technology can bring… (hoping that the results would “convince” and surpass the fear)

In Changing- Shifting a School Culture (May 2009…yes almost 4 years ago…), I wrote about my train of thought regarding

shifting from figuring out how to get educators familiar and comfortable enough to use technology  as just another teaching tool to how to change or facilitate a shift of a school’s culture into a learning community.

[4 years is a long time in terms of technology change... think ... 4 years ago, there were no iPads...]

4 years ago, I believed, that we might be ok, if a teacher continued to fear technology as a tool for themselves, and trust their students to take the reins.

2 years ago, I wrote in a post titled  Enhancement-Automating-Transforming-Informating (May 2011)

Long ago, I have resolved that teaching and learning DO NOT depend on technology nor are “not real”, good or effective without it (see Changing-Shifting a School Culture, Bringing in Experts. Transformative Teaching and Learning? and It’s not about the Tools, it is about the Skills ). The best “tool” for good teaching and learning…is… a good teacher! That teacher can be a professional educator…it can be “yourself”… it can be a group of your peers… it can be a book, film, audio…(insert whatever media) or it can be… (insert whatever suits you, your learning or teaching style).

[Even then still believing that it is NOT about the technology ...]

My thinking is shifting again. The sneaky feeling is creeping up over and over again that educators MUST experience the world of technology and modern learning (aka 21st century learning) for themselves in order to understand the transformative learning process the tools can enable .”Good teachers” will still teach (without technology tools)… their students will still learn… up to a certain degree… and not being able to move beyond a certain point.

Previously, I thought that as long as the technophobe allows students to use “their” technology and he/she takes care of the academic/pedagogical part, we would be alright, BUT…

Pedagogy has shifted… Modern skills and literacies have emerged…

Only with that new kind of experience in learning, collaborating, communicating, thinking… can we not only understand but also adapt and tweak the technology tools to serve as tools FOR modern literacies, student learning and amplification.

Just as our students… we are experiencing for the first time collaborative, across time (synchronous and asynchronous) and space (we don’t have to all be in the same geographic place), amplified (beyond our local audience, beyond our own perspective, beyond our own language) learning.

Just as our students… we are  pioneers and explorers. We are testing the waters, we are giving ourselves permission to “fail forward“. There is no road map. Our only directions are: Learn- Reflect- Share

Just as our students… we are learning to learn from and express ourselves beyond text printed on a paper. We are learning from experts around the world (via Skype, Twitter and Blogs), we are learning new writing genres (hyperlinked, writing in digital spaces), exploring and discovering new research methods

Just as our students… we are surviving information overload and re-learning how to focus, find, filter, remix and create new information. We are learning how to curate information , look at and create information visually.

Just as our students… we are acquiring digital fluency and critical literacies, which takes us beyond basic literacy of traditional reading and writing.

Just as our students… the most important skill we can learn, support, develop and prioritize is Learning How to Learn

Schools need to have/put platforms into place, that support their educators in developing, exploring and experiences new kids of learning that they will then be able to take beyond their own professional development and learning into the classrooms.

You need to EXPERIENCE through technology in order to see HOW you can translate that into your teaching!


For the technophobe amongst educators, it is time to GET OVER IT!

It is time. Take a look around you. The world has changed and it is not changing back. Technology devices, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops connect us instantly to tools, services and platforms such as Twitter, blogs, wikis, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Snapchat (among thousands of others).

Dr. Gil Perl recently wrote in a blog post Curriulum21 Initiative: Reflections from the Side of the Road that educators need to be at the forefront of understanding a changing world and get outside their own comfort zone. I could not agree more with him.

So what does a great 21st Century teacher look like? First of all, we learned that it’s not necessarily the teacher who tweets the pics uploaded to her Instagram account from her iPhone and remixes 3D animation with Khan Academy videos and soundtracks ripped from YouTube, then Snapchats herself doing it. It’s the teacher – whether new to the profession or seasoned veteran – who recognizes that the world is changing and that teachers ought to be on the forefront of understanding that change. It’s the teacher who has a burning desire to learn more and do more, while being open to reflection and redirection. It’s the teacher who encourages his students to take intellectual and emotional risks and models such by extending himself beyond his own comfort zone. It’s the educator who embraces the idea that her job is not to teach, but to help students learn.




Currently there are "41 comments" on this Article:

  1. [...] New blog post: Get Over it! – Technophobia that is- langwitches.org/blog/2013/05/2… [...]

  2. @brholland says:

    Wonderful new post from @langwitches: Get Over it! – Technophobia that is- http://t.co/B6OVTqHlwK #edchat #ettipad

  3. Anothr xlnt post – with links to othr gd posts! RT @langwitches: New blog post:Get Over it! -Technophobia that is- http://t.co/p4WaoCSl1Z

  4. This is brilliant Silvia, and I agree that you often have to change practice first, and then belief will follow. Thanks so much for writing this.

  5. Get Over It!: There are, no doubt,  many technophobes (among educators and in general) out there. Technophobia… http://t.co/a70fSxqjnU

  6. Deb Gardner says:

    Good points to ponder and practice, Silvia. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed subscribing to your blog and pics on Flickr. You’re a WONDERFUL resource!

    My pre-service teachers ask, “Can’t I be a ‘good’ teacher without technology?” My answer, “Maybe, but you might be a better teacher when using ed tech optimally.”


  7. [...] Quoted you in “Get over it!”- langwitches.org/blog/2013/05/2… Enjoyed your blog [...]

  8. @nolan6166 says:

    Get Over It! | Langwitches Blog http://t.co/pGfinynJLv #edtech #fdlteach #cue

  9. @annekenn says:

    “@judykmck: Get Over It! by @langwitches http://t.co/7kGI3Htf6N (@patlewie we could use this at staff meeting! )” fabulous post! Thank you!

  10. @yilmaths says:

    “@syded06: One of the best technology in education posts I’ve read this year. “@langwitches:”Get over it!”- http://t.co/sT9c8R7cc8“”

  11. @irishteach says:

    http://t.co/9tfeMLVqYx this read will make you think in a good way #d155tech #1to1techat #edtech via @langwitches

  12. “Get Over It!” Role of ALL teachers using tech #teched #coetail #edutech http://t.co/26gULTb8yS

  13. Absolutely love this blog post. Fear of technology? #GetOverIt http://t.co/Et1QnShNc4

  14. Interesting post from @langwitches: Get over it! http://t.co/S9xDhiBjqI #edtech

  15. I wonder if it’s as much a fear of technolgy, as it is a fear of “learning outloud” (risk averse adult lrnrs) http://t.co/uWzEERZHf8 #edchat

  16. I know a few… “For the technophobe amongst educators, it is time to GET OVER IT!” http://t.co/OIE0zpwxYc via @langwitches #edtech # edchat

  17. Get Over It! | Langwitches Blog http://t.co/Pkp9rZSOID . Always on the money, this article is no exception.

  18. @MinaDunstan says:

    @SSGilchrist agree, a thought provoking read about the perceptions http://t.co/rKlLc9NxAP

  19. @librarymall says:

    Send this to your staff via @langwitches http://t.co/Ehd3Hf74r0 #sd36learn #bctla #TLChat #bced

  20. @KDIreland says:

    Get Over It! Teachers CAN’T be TECHNOPHOBES! Langwitches Blog http://t.co/rkfRugVV2m #PVSDCurricTeam #PVSDSMARTTeam #EdTech

  21. Truly outstanding post on the implications of technology on learning – Excellent “@langwitches:”Get over it!”- http://t.co/4ywxfRQqI2“”

  22. Get over it! @langwitches on technophobia in education. http://t.co/XD28QheUi2

  23. @CorrieB says:

    Get Over It! A wonderful post about technology and the fear it induces in teachers! http://t.co/L8xHBaTqhY

  24. @deTechtive1 says:

    What a great post today in the Langwitches Blog. Very true on all accounts. Get Over It! | Langwitches Blog http://t.co/IDclXMGRgo

  25. @ugaodawg says:

    Get Over It! | Langwitches Blog http://t.co/yJ6A6L8aPP

  26. Great article here! – Get Over It! http://t.co/v12BYo5kLa #edchat #elemchat #literacy

  27. @pjhiggins says:

    Get Over It! | Langwitches Blog http://t.co/UH3bukyA24 Great thoughts by @langwitches #ed681

  28. @rm_ryan says:

    @hartleytek Get Over It! | Langwitches Blog http://t.co/swXvZj30aq

  29. I am taking an education media class this summer and my teacher is teach our class how to bring technology into our classrooms. I agree with you technology is changing so much and we as teachers need to keep up.

  30. [...] Get Over It! | Langwitches Blog [...]

  31. [...] this little article that appeared on my Twitter feed today, I think I’m finally relieved that EDC3100 has forced [...]

  32. Langwitches Blog | The Magic of Learning Getting over the “fear” of using tech in ed http://t.co/ZB58LxgDwm

  33. @nvwick says:

    Great Perspective. It’s about skills! – Hey Technophobes: Get Over It! http://t.co/ppwX1HmVVc

  34. [...] and has been a Technology Integration Facilitator and technology specialist. I looked at her post about the role of technology in education, specifically addressing instructors hesitant to integrate [...]

  35. Ron Amundson says:

    I’m concerned about obsolescence backlash. Just as there were no ipads 4 years ago, three years from now, there will be something else. Will school boards and/or parents be cool with new hardware every two-three years? Even more so, what about PD? It would be a sad deal indeed for students use of technology be limited to glorified ebook readers and video players… but if the hardware and PD are not kept current, the devolution to the minimums will be the result.

  36. […] I have iPads in the classroom! Now what? Is Technology shoving Pedagogy to the center stage? TPACK Reviewed Get Over it! […]

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