Suspend reality for a moment and imagine access to any modern technology. Consider your profession and pinpoint a device that would make a difference in your level of influence.
Undoubtedly, even in this theoretical situation, careful consideration was employed, as you concluded, “The addition of a/an _________will extend my impact!”
That may be true, but will it necessarily equal benefit? We tend to base success upon possessing technology and forget the point of having it.
Profit is determined by purpose not product.
Although, (hypothetically), better materials allot for better outcomes, the best items do not always determine the best impression. The authenticity of incorporating technology is found in a combination of using it and using it purposefully, asking, “To what level will inclusion create meaningful change?”
Consider the SAMR Model, created by Dr. Ruben Puentedura.
Figure 1. SAMR model (Walsh, 2015).
Through his research, Puentedura suggests that change is not “intrinsic to a given tool [but] rather a question of different types of practice” regarding it (Common Sense Education, 2016). This statement serves to remind “teachers to plan for and enact instruction that offers students meaningful technology-based learning experiences” (Hamilton, Rosenberg, & Akcaoglu, 2016, p. 438).
When the intent is influence, evaluate why you do what you do with what you have.
At the current time, my classroom serves as the place where I am asked to evoke change. I find myself eager to use the materials therein to engage my students and ask them how the tools can be resources for their learning and sharing. Regarding my personal technological readiness, I am still developing the awareness to emphasize the importance of choosing a tool that proves applicable in everyday life. Growth with these skills is a matter of experience and a constant willingness to reevaluate why I am teaching what I am teaching to whom I am teaching.
You can serve well with what you have been given if what you have been given is used well.
1 Peter 4:10 states, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (English Standard Version). In this passage, there is no question if a “gift” has been given; there is only a reminder of the purpose for the gift: service.
This is the model I hope to present for students when it comes to using the tools placed before them. I have been given the opportunity to prepare them to live a life of commitment to Christ by helping them develop their abilities to take knowledge, apply knowledge, share knowledge, and most importantly, garner wisdom from knowledge. To be this example, I must remain a reflective practitioner – reminding them of a simple, yet profound truth.
What is available is not half as important as how it is utilized and who it affects.
The application of technology in any realm of opportunity should be determined by the type of influence it will generate and the type of people it has the potential to create.
[Common Sense Education]. (2016, July 12). How to apply the SAMR model with Ruben Puentedura [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQTx2UQQvbU
Hamilton, E. H., Rosenberg, J., & Akcaoglu, M. (2016). The substitution augmentation modification redefinition (SAMR) model: A critical review and suggestions for its use. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning, 60(5), 433-441. doi:10.1007/s11528-016-0091-y
Walsh, K. (2015, April 20). SAMR model [Digital image]. Retrieved July 11, 2018 from https://www.emergingedtech.com/2015/04/examples-of-transforming-lessons-through-samr/