This weekend the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE) kicked off their annual, larger than life, conference. Thousands of people are in attendance. It is held in Philadelphia, PA and will be in session until July 1st. If you are an ed-tech nerd, as many are who read educational blogs, you are probably aware of this event. If you are like me and unable to attend, you can follow along with the hashtag #notatiste15 and #iste2015 or go to this flip board page. You will undoubtedly pick up some sort of new tech tool to use or be inspired to introduce more technology than you already may in your classroom. I find it to be a worthwhile experience.
It is because of this event that I am reflecting on the one to one classroom and the commonly used phrase “technology as a tool.” The phrase has been uttered so many times that it has almost become a cliche and lost power: “…use 21st century tools…students need 21st century tools to be successful in today’s world…one to one is necessary for students to learn the tools used in the 21st century.” However, as my school recently finished it’s first year of one to one iPad implementation, I wonder if many educators actually comprehend one to one technology as a tool. When discussing success and failures with the technology, there seems to be a lack of understanding of the fact that the technology is indeed a tool and not a pedagogy. Therefore, I believe it would be useful to incorporate metaphors of technology as a tool when considering complaints, questions, and discussions about one to one technology. Take a look at the following statements and how they are framed when applying the technology as a tool more metaphorically. Continue reading