Tuesday, February 24, 2009

That's the Trouble with ...

I often hear educators say that the problem with integrating technology is it is unreliable, that it might break, it might not work. What if Gutenberg had said that about the printing press? What if people had said the pencil was unreliable because it might break?
How many pencils have students broken? Do you throw out those pencils because they are unreliable? The argument that any tool should be abandoned because it might break is ludicrous.
This blame game is pervasive. I listened to an IDRA podcast with Abelardo Villarreal and Bradley Scott. Dr. Villarreal suggests that instead of blaming someone or something else, we need to look at solutions.
But then again, there is a certain usability level to which we expect any tool to rise in order for us to adopt it. It is so frustrating when it does not rise to that minimum level that we are presented with two choices:

  1. Abandon the tool and revert to the status quo.
  2. Abandon the school that clings to the broken tool and look for one that enables it to rise to that minimum usability level.
Being the annoying sort that I am, I refuse to do the first. I will provide a world class education. I will use tools that engage the minds of the learners in my classes. What will you do?

Photo courtesy of .robbie available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/14821912@N00/88541588 and covered under a Attribution-Noncommercial -Share Alike 2.0 Creative Commons license

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