Technology Toughness

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I was reading a good article on Huffington Post 7 things people with emotional toughness do and I just love divergent thinking. The more I read the article , the more I was thinking, well, this is how you have to be in a classroom with technology. So does using technology successfully in a classroom mean you are emotionally tough? That will be the topic of another post. What I wanted to do today was take the headings from Nicole Weaver’s article and show how they apply to ICT.

1. They take control.

Absolutely. You are clear about what is being used and when and for what purpose. There is nothing vague about technology use in a classroom nor is it something which is dictated to you as a teacher. You decide what devices and software are being used when and you make your expectations clear. A lot of the control is established by thinking ahead and remembering to say things like, turn off your phones, or we don’t have phones out in class or you need to ask me if you are going to take a photo. You decide what can be done when or 30 students and 30 devices will take over.

2. They’re flexible.

You listen and learn. That makes you flexible. You know a lot about different ways to do things so that if one option doesn’t work , you have choices. If there is no wifi it will not collapse your lesson. If one student does not have an iPad , you have a work around. By the same token, if you have a student who is prepared to show you something they know and feel would suit them or the class , you listen. It is how I found out about MineCraft. It is also how I discovered one of my year 8s the year before last could totally and completely do everything to do with her work just on her iPhone and she compromised nothing.

3. They learn from their mistakes.

Oh yes. You do. When technology flops it is unforgettable and you learn quickly to master what it is you thought you knew but didn’t. It is so important to have different ways of doing things so that when something isn’t right , you can quickly and smoothly go on to the next bit. Focus on problem solving and work arounds until you can master whatever it is you did not get right. Nothing like thinking you have planned a great lesson with technology only to find out the students do not see it the way you see it and are not using things the way you use them. Check every file and video before you show it. Check sound and where possible , have a back up device.If you are shifting from paper based to electronic, be prepared not to know how it will all work initially

4. They create specific goals — then conquer them.

That is definitely the best way to be strong in technology. Learn something different all the time. Sometimes it can be small things like keyboard shortcuts or accessing Google Drive. Other times you can really explore bigger things like Google Drive and all its possibilities, video software, image software or online  sites and services of one sort or another.

5. They look for acceptance from themselves, not others.

If you are using technology, stick within your boundaries until you are confident you are ready to learn the next thing. Accept that in some areas you might be limited. Accept there is so much to know , you cannot know it all. Accept what you do know and build on it consistently. Never feel inadequate but never fail to ask how to do something if you are not sure. If you don’t get gracious help, ask someone else.

6. They keep their stress in check.

It’s a device. A lump of plastic and circuits and maybe a fan or two. If it is not behaving itself, put it away until you have time to deal with it. You are a teacher. Teach away.

7. They let the little things roll off their back.

Just love it when I get the rainbow wheel of death on my MacBook. We sit there and watch it, I teach them how to say La roue arc-en-ciel de la mort while I am rebooting and if we have to we chant numbers, or answer random questions or do past participles…anything to use the dead time. I just laugh and keep it moving and my students fall in with that. Same for them. If it goes haywire for them we just work out what can be done in a calm and orderly fashion!keep calm and carry on Remember all those Keep Calm signs? Just go to the next step and the next one and stay cheerful.


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