Everyone is afraid of something. For some people, it’s spiders; for others, it’s great heights; but for a select group, their fear is of technology. Now these people may not be afraid of electronic devices and digital media in the traditional sense of the word. For example, a technophobe does not fear the small, angry man inside her cell phone coming out to exact vengeance. Contemporary technophobes are those afflicted with more of a fear of change than anything else.
Teachers may be more likely than other professionals to succumb to technophobia. While standards are constantly modified and revised and technology daily advances, teachers may cling to the safe and familiar worlds of hardcover anthologies and chalk-covered blackboards. A veteran in the field knows of her own past success without technology. Why should she risk learning to use a whole slew of complicated devices and services when it may take away from her own proven methodologies that don’t have so much electronic demand? A simple answer might be that students are a part of this rapidly expanding society and teachers must be in tune with the needs of these students.
Hope is Available
There is support available on a literally worldwide basis. Techno-conservatives need not take a leap of faith. Jeff Dunn, in his article, The Must-Have Guide To Helping Technophobic Educators, explains, “when we learn a new skill, we do not doubt that we need special training in that skill. For instance we would not fly a plane without taking flight lessons. Similarly we need training to ensure that we know how to integrate technology into the classroom. Technology is not an end in itself, but rather a means by which learning outcomes can be improved.” Ultimately, the goal is to benefit students to the greatest degree possible. Technology is a tool that allows, facilitates, and encourages that goal.
A Look Ahead
Once the astute educators of this nation can come to terms with technology and its place in the classroom, the next step is easy: connect. The internet provides connections to people and resources the world over. For example, a novice techno-user wants to find some easy ways to include technology in their classroom. A simple search returns multitudes of links including Kim Haynes’ article “12 Easy Ways to Use Technology in Your Classroom, Even for Technophobic Teachers” and a blog by Cate Blouke describing “Having Fun with Technology in the Classroom.” Even though, it may be scary at first, technology is a teacher’s ally.
Cate Blouke, Having Fun with Technology in the Classroom
Cell Phone Man: http://mygadgetnews.com/tech/the-scoop-on-4g-technology-us-wireless-carriers