An exuberant or passive user of tech in the classroom–which am I?

I have been a somewhat passive user of technology, I will admit. My confidence using the LMS and “willingness” to do so well is now, I realize, an insulator against moving beyond it. The readings this week, especially the Tour article that Loren and I will present this morning, have made me realize that I use technology as an “add on,” or a way of doing things I did before in a more convenient or organized way. I understand now that I must be open to doing new things and to seeing technology as a way to actually evolve out of old tasks and approaches and totally invert my “affordances” of technology.

For instance, I have valued the LMS because I can easily keep track of students and my communications with them. I don’t lose them! I can look back and see who has logged in and who has not, if I responded to an email and what I said, etc. I need to learn, I know, how to get beyond my idea that these new ways of doing old tasks is not the be all and end all of my use of technology. I still worry, though. When I am busy I am apt to “lose” students. Many of us teach five classes comprised of twenty or more students — how can I be sure that I respond effectively? notice when someone is floundering? be sure I have commented on a question or concern?

In the literature classroom, especially, I am resistant to technological innovation. For me, literature is holding a printed book in my hand, circling, underlining, annotating, handwriting notes, and seeing a beloved book get old with re-reading, new reflections written in the margins, and a place on my bookshelf like the best piece of artwork. I do love e-books for some circumstances, but in the lit classroom I feel one of my best efforts as an instructor is sharing what literature has been, over the ages, and how–while technology takes us away in so many ways–reading a book brings us into a space that is still worth having, that is not tied to a power source.


4 thoughts on “An exuberant or passive user of tech in the classroom–which am I?

  1. Hi, Dawn,

    I liked your post today. I completely agree with you- I use technology as an “add on,” and I am very traditional in my literature classroom as well. I said something similar in my blog today too-about how I am more comfortable sticking to the ways I know, but I also realize that I have to evolve out of old approaches. I am trying to be open to ideas about implementing new digital technologies and pedagogy.

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Loren. All this talk about teaching literature reminds me of what one of my colleagues said once: that we as teachers love school and the classroom, but chances are our students don’t. I try to keep that in mind as my views of teaching literature are challenged. I must wonder how I can best share my love of literature and make it exciting to someone who did not expect it!

  2. Hi Dawn,

    I loved reading your romantic views of books. I think, in a way, you are connecting the use of books to a historical form of technology. What can you do from this book? What can you gleam from it? How do you translate that for your own knowledge?
    Thanks for your thoughts!

    1. Taylor, I’m glad you enjoyed my post! Yes, you are right that I look at books as a historical form of technology, and I agreed with what Dr. Sherwood said in class today about all new genres at one time were probably considered shocking and were resisted. I would hate to think that I am one of those naysayers of old! I don’t want to be that . . . but, I still see that the university presses and printing lovely volumes on paper!!

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