When I went home this March I took my mom a laptop with Windows 7 on it. After a day or so of working on it she began to complain about “why do they always change everything.” I reminder her that change has always been happening and that when she was younger she worked on one of the first computers in Memphis. She worked on it because all of the older ladies in the office wouldn’t work on “that new fangaled thing.” She relented and said that’s right.
She did have a bit of an argument though. While change IS always happening and will always happen, what is new is the speed of that change. Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors and circuits in a computer doubles every two years. This means the speed of change with technology is doubled every two years because the speed of the ability of the technology to process information doubles. This is what my mom was struggling with. Because during her generation things improved and changed at a slower rate. She didn’t realise how far behind she had gotten in her tech skills because she didn’t realise how fast and dramatically things were changing. This is why I upgraded her equipment.
The speed with which technology is changing is only going to get faster. We have to keep up by doing what we can to teach ourselves about the changes. As teachers we have to be ready and willing to grow and change. Our students are using technologies that are sometimes 2 or 3 years ahead of what we ourselves use. If we allow ourselves to fall behind then we will loose a link to a major part of our students lives.
I moved to an iPhone only 2 years ago, but that simple move allowed me to be able to learn the ins and outs of the Apple IOS system, before I received my iPad. Doing that made the move to an iPad easier because I knew some of what to expect. That being said, I know nothing about the android market because I own no android devices.
Keeping on top of the latest technologies can be difficult but even if you choose one and keep that updated, then you will be able to more easily move between devices. Find a way to stay on top of things, a blog you like, a twitter feed, a teacher friend, a techy friend, or a student any one of these can be a good source of tech support. But whatever you do find a way, standing still is no longer an option.
Thank you Suzanne McCluskey for the idea for this post.