Often sitting on the sidelines growing up I was able to witness many miraculous events and saw the world changing literally in front of my eyes. Often sick and isolated from my peers, technology was a way of connecting and in same cases playing with friends. It is fondly that I recall sitting on a hospital bed with a pencil in one hand and the phone receiver (attached to a cord) in the other playing noughts and crosses with a friend. We played for what seemed hours, and whilst I am well aware that this was not a new technology or form of communication it remains vivid in my mind and often floats to the forefront when I think about what technology means to me.
It was during this time that my mother rented her first mobile phone, affectionately called the brick, to ensure she was able to stay in touch with my father without the concerns assisted with the now archaic public phone. You know the kind. A square metal box with numbers on it, attached to to the iconic metal tube and black receiver, that would often be missing either the top or bottom half. These days most have been decommissioned and ripped out of their cement homes or have been changed to a WIFI point in a last ditch effort to maintain some resemblance of their previous life and function.
This was also the time when technology and education first collided in my world and although it may not be as momentous as man walking on the moon (how I wish I was alive to witness that) in my world it was like a rock falling from space, thrusting me into a new age, a new chapter in our history book…
The digital age!
I shan’t recall my thrill and excitement at using these first school computers to make Logo (the little green turtle) draw a circle or square with a fluorescent green line on a black screen or hearing the sound of waiting for the internet to connect with all the students hovering around beaming at the screen to see what would happen next. I will skip ahead, to now! In the present, I’m looking towards the future with excitement for all the possibilities it can offer.
Looking around me through the eyes of what many call an experienced teacher (11 years, where did that go?) with life experience as the mother of 2 amazing individuals and the wife of a supportive and truly selfless husband, I am in absolute awe of where this profession has come from in the short time I have been associated with it and what could be. I am truly passionate as an educator and about getting the best out of my students. I still get those butterflies (you know the ones that make you lift off the ground) when something finally clicks for a student or you helped them achieve what they thought impossible. We are their mentors, life coaches, facilitators and charged with the responsibility of assisting them to be the best individuals they can be. Not just for today or next week but for their future, our future.
I don’t believe that any of us have all the answers about teaching or truly know what being the best educator would even look like. Theories, programs and curriculum continually change and it seems as soon as we are confident and comfortable with things as they are, a new thinking style or type of intelligence is uncovered (hooray) tipping things over or shaking them up. I propose that none of this matters at the heart of it. Don’t get me wrong or misunderstand pedagogical theory, curriculum understanding, best practice are all core to being a teacher, but what is key is what we do with it.
That is what I am about and what Primarily Tech is! It is about the exploration of technology as a culture and integral part of education. Assisting students to reach their individual potentials and allowing them to become the best they can be through the integration of technology as part of the classroom and not just a tool within it.