A hard habit to break…

September 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

Yes, I did just quote from Chicago 17.

Today was “Throwback Thursday” at La Vernia High School for Homecoming week, and I’ve had a couple of things come up today that fit perfectly with the theme of the day.

To begin with, our district locksmith came into my office this morning and asked if I could help him get past a password he’d forgotten on his personal laptop.

He proceeded to plunk down on my desk, a 20th century relic. An IBM Thinkpad running Windows 98.

Seriously.

It was actually in really good shape! The security on those, by the way, was stellar. In order to bypass the user name and password screen we had to press the escape key. No jiggity.

The other thing that reminded me of throwbacks, or old habits, was this evening. I had my Chromebook with me and I went to the kitchen to wash my hands. I very carefully set the laptop on the edge of the counter but left it open because somewhere in the back of my mind, closing the lid would have meant losing that page I had been reading.

So that got me thinking, not just about me, but about all of us. All of our teachers. How many of them are stuck in a habit that’s hard to break because somehow, it’s hard-wired into their brains?

I knew for a fact that if I closed the lid on my Chromebook that when I opened it again, the page I was reading would be right there in front of me, yet my first instinct was to leave it open and precariously balanced on the counter.

How many of us make life harder for ourselves because we’re stuck in old technology habits? How many teachers got yelled at once or made to feel stupid for doing something a little bit wrong with a piece of technology, and have been afraid to try anything new since?

Who had a bad experience on Twitter, or AOL, or Compuserve, and decided to never try again?

Our mission as technologists is to get people to push past these things and break their habits, or phobias, or whatever it is that’s holding them back. We have to be ambassadors of technology. We have to be the hand holders, but we also can’t do it alone.

We need help from administrators. We need the expectation that teachers will use the technology that they have to communicate, collaborate, and to teach differently.

We can’t just write these people off. We have to help them get there. We have to be the inspiration.

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