I spoke for quite a long time today with a friend who is being “disciplined” for the amount of technology use in her classroom. We troubleshooting some things she should do. We wandered through scenarios, played devils advocate a bit, and came up with a game plan for her next conversation.
After I told her I would be thinking of her, praying for her — angry, frustrated, wishing I was closer to help more than just be a face on a skype window — I hung up the phone….and turned to scripture. The Bible always has an answer or council for problems I (and/or) my friends are going though.
I thought of how many of you are having to defend your use of technology — when indeed THAT is not the main issue.
It is just a very easy issue to pick on because at times it can be so vague.
An administrator could say “you use technology too much” but your administrator would never say “your students write too much”, “collaborate too much”, “use higher-thinking skills too much” — etc. But if technology is NOT defined in the use and not the source…..it becomes vague and again — an easy target.
And approaching administration when you know something is right — but they might disagree — can be a tricky road to walk on.
So, my thoughts went to Esther.
If you don’t know the story — a very quick sum up.
Original Queen made husband unhappy, New Queen was chosen (Esther) from many girls in the kingdom, Esther is Jew, King’s right hand man has it out for the Jews (on in particular — Mordecai). Esther needs to speak up for her people.
Also — you need to know that you didn’t just walk into the kings office and say “hey king, lets chat”. Any uninvited conversations were met with either the scepter being held out — or not. If the scepter was held out — you were welcome. If not….well, you were not.
In Esther’s case — it was — and you can read more here: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Esther+1&version=NIV
But this blog post is more about what is said to Esther in 4:14.
Esther’s cousin says to her “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”
Now, not to diminish the story at all — but I ask that you reword it a bit to reflect your classroom — your students –
I don’t believe that you are randomly where you are right now in your job…..though you might feel that way. I strongly believe that you have a purpose where you are — and why you are there –
FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS!
How many of you — are remaining silent, doing your job, not wishing to rock any boats, but perhaps very unhappy with what might be taking place on campuses – when YOU need to be the one to speak up. You might not make a difference in your district, or even your campus — but you might open the possibilities for a difference in your classroom.
Or as Mordecai says to Esther: but you and your father’s family…..or in this case, your classroom.
And in no way am I saying that you defend the use of technology in your classroom — because that is NOT the battle. Technology will NOT save your classroom — but the options that technology offers WILL make a difference. It allows your students to write — with a larger audience, read — with a larger audience, collaborate and share — with a larger audience, current information and history quickly with many many MANY viewpoints and considerations, real-time learning, creative thinking, conversations, debates, and endless opportunities to expand the walls of their classroom in many many ways.
It is time to take the bulls-eye off technology and place it on what is important — Opportunities in Learning. And it is time to speak up and start having these discussions.
For Such A Time As This.