Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Larry as Guru and other Matters

Since school has started I have twice been introduced to new acquaintances as a "tech guru." I don't really mind, but the phrase is a bit loaded, don't you think? On the one hand I kind of deserve it since I have been appointed to spread the mystical vision of CBL this semester. But I also think it categorizes me as off in my la-la land of technology, communing with cyberspace. This notion amuses rather than offends. But I think the implication that I have secret knowledge to share is interesting. Hold this thought.

More obnoxious is being called a "techie." Again, I don't take this as an insult-- I think I just get blurred in with the IT guys. In fact sometimes  folks ask me for help with email, and printers when I really have no clue at all. Last year, a student ran down from the auditorium to see if I could problem solve a projector issue. And this year I was included on a 9th grade Tablet orientation team. In each of these instances, I was next to useless. Admittedly, I am fascinated with some gadgets. I am adept with some software as well as my Macs-- but as far as technology goes, I would describe myself as a generalist. Again, however, naming me "techie" like guru categorizes me as outside the pale.

Now to the point. I think this "guru" thing comes from my confidence developing projects that call for students to leverage technology of their own choosing.  I  "get" the technology and can even suggest they explore particular options. I find this necessary to the way I now teach.  So, I wonder, how much technology should any teacher know in 2010?  Haven't we reached a point in time where a teacher or administrator really must have some working knowledge with the powerful tools which are so integrated into modern life?  But how much is enough? 
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"Paramhansa Yoganda " Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Prema01

2 comments:

Blaise said...

Larry, you are a guru by comparison. Compared to many staff in the building you are much more knowledgeable. You research and find technology helpful to your profession, but you're right, you are not a techie. I admire your enthusiasm towards keeping up with technology trends and encouraging our students to use the computers we require them to have. As an educator it is important to "keep up" with and utilize the resources available.

Larry Baker said...

Thanks, Blaise. You are absolutely right-- It's all relative. And for what its worth, I think that being adventurous can make up for a lack of technical skill, when it comes to secondary teaching.

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