Tech Integration: It’s a lot like a marathon…
Except there’s no finish line.
I’m a huge marathon runner wanna-be…
The Boston Marathon has come and gone. #Bostonstrong is no longer trending. I however, continue to think about the 35,000+ runners who trained for this year’s race. I keep thinking about the hours of training, preparation, commitment and sacrifices the runners went through. I place these people on a pedestal. And frankly, I envy them. As far as I’m concerned, any person who can run 26 miles has super-human strength. To run a marathon is a distant, vague, personal fitness goal I’ve set for myself. I don’t know if I’ll ever accomplish it. For the time being, I’m preparing mentally to start training to run my second half marathon. I’m about four and a half months out. So I guess, in a way, I kinda, sorta, know what it’s like to train for a marathon.
I won’t compare the training I went through to run a half marathon to the level of training required to run a full. As a former sprinter, I still can’t believe I ran 13 miles. I honestly don’t know what possessed me to start training for a half in the first place, but I did it back in 2009. My goal time was two hours.
I did it in an hour and forty minutes.
That’s probably why I haven’t run one since. But, I’m excited (and scared) to start training once again. My life will drastically change once I get on a training schedule. And when I think about this mix of emotions, I think about what it’s like to try new technology in the classroom.
It’s scary, but it’s exciting. With practice, you get better at it. But to improve (to get a faster time) you have to constantly keep pushing. If you don’t, you won’t see any results. You will plateau. I see five distinct parallels between training for a half (or any other type of fitness event) and technology integration:
1. It’s hard.
2. It requires hours of practice.
3. It requires lots of support from others.
4. It requires continuous change and experimentation and above all else…
5. It requires setting goals.
Trying new technology in the classroom is hard. If anyone tells you otherwise, they are lying.
It Requires Hours of Practice:
To become “good” at integrating technology requires hours and hours of practice, which means, failing over and over again until you get “perfect” results.
It Requires Lots of Support From Others:
This is why an educator needs constant support and encouragement from their colleagues both in and outside of their building. Support from a PLN, whether it be on Twitter, Google+, through Edmodo or LinkedIn groups, or through attending Edcamps and other types of professional development, is critical.
It Requires Continuous Change and Experimentation:
Once you get “comfortable” with a technology tool, time to move on and try something new and different. That’s part of the learning process for teachers and for students.
It Requires Setting Goals:
October 5, 2014. Is race day.
What’s your goal?