Great teachers – not technology – make Burlington Public Schools a great place to learn. Our teachers have exhibited an incredible commitment to learning about and integrating extensive amounts of technology devices and resources. Our administration and BPS EdTech Team have provided support and guidance along the way. Do we get everything right? Absolutely not. Have we made mistakes? Of course. Overall though we have developed a strong digital learning environment for our students by embracing the challenges along the way.
While I do believe that Burlington students and teachers are lucky to have so many outstanding technology resources and support staff members, I know that technology can be frustrating at times. The key is to remain positive and find solutions instead of dwelling on the negative. Look for ways to adapt and don’t let the few failures stop exploration and integration.
I’m lucky that I get to work with so many educators that look past the occasional frustrations and continue to seek out new opportunities with technology in the classroom. Recently I received an email from a phenomenal elementary teacher who had not been able to make it to one of our How Do I Do That technology sessions. During the session, Eric Braun from 30hands Learning was onsite to help teachers with the 30hands mobile app. The teacher had wanted to learn about the app and was very disappointed that she couldn’t make it to the session. So she did something that I’m very proud of. She spent time trying out the app and taught herself how to use it.
The next day her students completed a project using the app to present about the baby chickens taking up residence in their classroom. I visited her class the following day with Technology Coach Tim Calvin and Systems Administrator John Allegretto to see some of the the 30hands presentations. Before the students could present, technology frustration developed as some students needed an updated app to finish their work. So Tim, John, and I helped out – and the teacher rolled on – not allowing the glitch to slow the progress of the project at all. Students never missed a beat and were thoroughly engaged thanks to the positive way that their teacher handled the moment of technology frustration.
Never allow the occasional technology frustration to slow you down. Seek alternatives – keep moving forward – and stay positive. You can never underestimate the power of failure paired with a positive spirit. You will learn more than you could imagine by facing the failures and adapting to the challenges. Remember – technology integration is not something that we accomplish – it’s something that we constantly evolve.