Start with Why

I am currently attending my first ISTE Conference.  I was extremely excited to attend this event with over 20,000 educators.  While I was eagerly anticipating ISTE, I now realize my focus was misguided.  I was fixating on how to incorporate technology, not why we should incorporate educational technology.

While preparing for ISTE,  I highlighted sessions related to 3-D printing, 1:1 implementation, and coding.   I certainly believe these resources can transform instruction, but I now realize my narrow focus on technology resources was problematic.  This problem is illustrated in a visual created by Bill Ferriter.


While this visual has been around for over 4 years, I was reintroduced to it during a session at  ISTE.  It reminded me that students want to use technology to connect, collaborate, and take action.   Technology implementation is essential in a 21st century classroom, but we must reflect on the purpose of incorporating technology.  Are we using a new app because we learned about it at a conference, or are we using it because it will complement a lesson?  Will it help students take ownership of their own learning and allow them to make, create, and collaborate?

ISTE is a good reminder that effective tech implementation begins with “Why” not “How”.  Technology is a tool, not an outcome.


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