On the eve of going back to school, I post what has been going through my head since the laptops were delivered last Thursday, "What was I thinking???!!" When I saw the invitation to request participation in the 1:1 Device Pilot, I pounced on it! I am a diehard Technophone, (if Francophone means loving everything French, then "Technophone" can mean loving everything technological... I was the first to create a whiteboard using a Wii remote, the first to use QR Codes, and to use Polleverywhere in my classroom. I have been a technology leader for.. well, forever.
So, of course I applied to participate - and the most joyous thing occurred.. I was chosen!! When we all met to begin planning, my confidence wavered - so much "new" stuff - copyright, internet safety, PBL - suppose.. suppose I ... fail?? And then, when the laptops were delivered and there are a few minor glitches, it tweaked my anxiety further - Can I possibily manage 30 laptops in a classroom of 11 to 14 year olds with all of the typical "tech" problems; laptops not charged, network down, websites blocked by the firewall? And what about those students? Will they recognize the gargantuan opportunity and responsibility we're been offered and "buy" into this new way of learning? Is my ability to cultivate, inspire and support my students' learning strong enough to make this endeavor successful?
I have a lot of positives going for me - I love my subject - Foreign Languages - I love my co-workers, (and that's what they'll be) - my students. I have the respect and support of my Administration and peers and our District is firmly dedicated to the success of this pilot, so why am I asking, "What was I thinking!?"
Because, my generation, we adults who weren't born with technology coursing through our blood, we are first generation immigrants. This new language and culture we're learning; technology, is foreign to us and so we struggle with culture shock. That's what I'm struggling with now, a good dose of culture shock. I'm about to move to a foreign land full of new and scary experiences - a land where I don't speak the language fluently as those who are at home in the culture - my students.
Like spending two months in rural Ecuador vaccinating children against tuberculosis when I was 17, I'm going to have to trust in my own abilities and in those people leading the program. I'm going to have to believe in the mission and recognize I've got to rely on the very people I came to help in the first place and who will ultimately benefit from this new venture - my students - in order to accomplish our goals. I'm sure there will be "bats, rats, and cockroaches", (well, there were in Ecuador!!), but there will also be, (as in Ecuador), the most beautiful fertile and verdant land, unbelievably delectable food, and never-to-be matched social experiences. So, all of us working together, we can accomplish what we set out to do. I believe it. Comenzamos! Let's get started!