The technology tools we are beginning to use in our curriculum are so new we cannot rely on a history of experience to guide our use. We are pioneers, trying to find effective and productive ways to implement blogs, wikis, and other web tools. Along with thousands of teachers around the globe, we are handling iPads in the classroom for the first time, sometimes with less experience than our students. The very nature of our task requires risk-taking. And it is not just with how we use the tools. It is also taking a risk with how we use students’ time.
It takes courage to step out of our comfort zones, to try something different from the tried and true methods of the past. Part of our job as educators is to prepare our students for a productive life in the world in which they will live and work. The work world of today already requires digital literacy skills. So as we begin a year of using new tools, let’s support each other on our journey. It is guaranteed that not every lesson we plan using iPads will go smoothly. It is a given that we will see student blog posts that make us gasp. Wiki pages will be erased and replaced by accident. We will go in the wrong direction and have to stop, rethink, recalculate, start again. That is all part of the process and it is up to us to make it a learning process. Take time to reflect on your steps and missteps with your colleagues… and with the students. We are on a journey. If we don’t take the steps to get started, we will be in the same place in June as we are today. I am confident that, though our path might not be as straight as we might wish, we will get to a better place in the end.