Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Enchanting Enthusiasm - Questing for Greatness


"Nothing great," wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson in the quote I'd include in my pamphlets during my first few years of teaching, exhorting technology integration, "was every achieved without enthusiasm." It is a quote that is always timely and oh so sad to remember now. As I reflect on the years of integrating technology, there is a sad truth that must be admitted--technology integration is now recognized for the pipe dream it was. It remains now but a way to spend more money on centralized drill-n-practice tutorials, teacher-centric tools like interactive whiteboards, and less about getting students to create. 

"When children walk out the door after working with technology, what are they taking with them?" That was the question I asked people in my workshops. Now, that question might be, "When children come into the classroom, what doors are you enabling them to open with technologies that enhance collaboration and explore creativity?"

Still, these questions fail without Emerson's enchantment with enthusiasm. . .with our own enchantment. Doug Johnson (Blue Skunk Blog), whose entries rise to the top of my RSS reader every time I shut the door on the twitter flood for a moment of peace and quiet, instead hoping to capture the wisdom in a moment of reflection, writes the following:
As the technology director, I take this as a personal failure*. Why have I not found the means of getting people excited about possibilities? About thinking creatively about technology? About dreaming of a better way to educate students that technology might enable?
Like the twenty-year old who believed in maxims grown old before his time, I believe it's time to embrace the enchantment enthusiasm engenders and reach for greatness.

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

1 comment:

pshircliff said...

Technology in its infancy was not designed for students to create. That has developed through many iterations. Also to remember is when technology started going in to classrooms, classes were very teacher centered and students did very little creation. Why would we design creation technology when that was not the paradigm of education at the moment? Hopefully that is changing, and quickly.

The Courage to Lead