So I am prepping to give an instructional technology PD this week at my school. As a lead up I have been having conversations with colleagues about signing up – most have which I have left me perplexed.

You see; the vibe I get from many colleagues (not just at my school by the way) is one of: “we don’t need no stinkin’ technology”.

Which is a bummer – not just for me – but for their students as well. Our students, are now labeled digital natives by many in the profession, and are immersed more than we can imagine in technology in some shape or form. I would argue that my colleagues need this PD now, more than ever. There are many of us standing in front of a classroom thinking that the use of PowerPoint and an LCD projector make us technology gods to our students.

I would respond with a Monday Night Football-like “C’mon Man”!

There are certain key points that all educators need to understand about our students and technology.

1. They are immersed in technology.

Many of our students, especially at the middle and high school levels are immersed in technology. More students than we think have access to computers, the Internet, and a mobile device.

2. Mobile devices are more prevalent than we think.

Many of our students are carrying a mobile device. Many of those mobile devices have access to the Internet. Even students, such as free/reduced lunch students posses these devices in numbers we may not be aware of. Our students, when given the opportunity in the right environment, will use these devices responsibly.

3. They may not necessarily speak with the same technologies that we do.

Email – in education we know it, we love it. However, that is not how our students communicate. For them – it’s about text, Twitter, and Facebook. We need to be aware of this when we incorporate tech into our curriculum and also when we teach responsible use.

4. PowerPoint is not necessarily EdTech.

Stop it. It’s 2011.

We need technology in our curricula. It belongs there. I would argue that it is important that technology become ubiquitous within our schools. It is through the use of technology that our students now communicate.

So, here’s to hoping that my colleagues attend my training this week.

If you are looking for a great place to begin or expand your library of educational technologies – please check out the work of Richard Byrne at Free Tech for Teachers.

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