We've all heard someone use the phrase. Perhaps you've even used it at one time or another. I've heard the phrase countless times during the five years that I have been an Integration Specialist.
I'm tired of the excuse. It's 2015. Now, if it were 1989, it might be an acceptable excuse, but not any longer. There are some great ways to use the various technologies that we currently have available to us as educators to make our classrooms an even better place to work, play, collaborate and learn.
When thinking of this whole issue, it makes me think of a teacher that just retired this year from our school district. Her name is Ms. Breese. She was an outstanding Family and Consumer Science teacher at Aurora Public Schools for 40 years. Yes, 40 years! That is simply amazing! I was really bummed the day that she came into my room to personally tell me that she was planning on retiring at the end of the school year.
You see, Ms. Breese was what I would consider a "pioneer teacher" in our district in regards to the use of educational technology. She was a "pioneer" in the fact that she was a prominent teacher leader during our 1:1 iPad initiative. Ms. Breese used the iPad in so many creative, practical and engaging ways in her FCS classroom. She was always looking for ways to use the iPad and we had some great brainstorming and planning sessions together. Other teachers in our district could always count on Ms. Breese to have a great new idea on how to successfully use the iPad in the classroom. She was truly an asset to me as an integration specialist. I could count on her to share all of her great ideas with our other teachers! I loved her creative spirit and willingness to change things up in her classroom.
Ms. Breese had 37 years of experience when I started. When our school decided to proceed with our 1:1 iPad initiative three years ago, it would have been very easy for Ms. Breese to use the excuse, "I'm Just Not Very Good With Technology," yet she jumped on board the "tech train" from day one and was always looking for new and unique ways to better her classroom using educational technology. I vividly recall the day a couple of years ago that Ms. Breese came into my classroom and told me how using the iPad and other technologies in her classroom really had revitalized her passion for teaching. “It’s so much more fun,and there are so many opportunities” she recalled. I hated to see her retire, but really enjoy the fact that I was able to work with Ms. Breese for three years.
Thank you, Ms. Breese for being a "pioneer!" And, THANK YOU to all of the other "pioneer" teachers that are out there reading this!