I was recently reading Bend without Breaking by Jim Huling. Though directed at a business audience his comments really ring true for schools as well. Some folks bristle at the mention of new technology because they seem to feel that they "must master every aspect immediately." Huling urges us to counter this anxiety by "building a plan for the daily or weekly improvements."
I know teachers who feel enormously pressured to change, and their anxiety seems to paralyze them. Most of what I've learned with tech has come very deliberately. I've become competent with tools like Moodle, Google Docs, and iMovie by using tutorials through Atomic Learning, completing a few modules each day. This gives me the sense that I am making progress. And by focusing on one tool at a time, I feel less overwhelmed.
On a related note, I've often hear the lament that things are changing so fast, that by the time one gets started on something, it will probably be outdated. Well, there is an element of truth to this. Topics that I presented on in January have already drastically changed by July. But rather than paralysis, this calls for learning a "tool set." By playing around at popular sites like iTunes, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, and WikiSpaces one can see that A) One can get around one these sites without a computer engineering degree. B) There is considerable transference of competency from one site to another. As I've often remarked, it's easier to jump into the Read/Write Web now than ever before. Despairing that one is hopelessly behind is a pretty lousy excuse for not engaging in the here and now.
"Frustrated" Flickr Creative Commons Photo by frekur
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