Have you ever watched TV? Particularly a television program set in a high school (or with high school-aged people)? At the beginning of scenes that take place inside a classroom, there is brief shot to establish the type of classroom setting – if there are bunsen burners and the teacher is wearing safety goggles, it’s absolutely in a science class! If every student has the same book on their desk and appear to be reading it aloud, it must be an English class! When the teacher is at the front of the class lecturing near a map, it’s in history.
Yes my social studies friends, we get the boring one!
As the recent surge of superhero films is showing no signs of stopping, I felt that now was probably a good time to share lessons that I have gleaned from the current batch of superhero movies and apply them to the teaching realm.
The Dark Knight Trilogy
1. Always have tools in your utility belt. You never know when you may need to switch tracks quickly or scale a wall*.
2. You will have obstacles. Sometimes, lessons simply do not go as planned. You will occasionally fail. But as Thomas Wayne said (which Alfred would later repeat), “Why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”**
As I was watching The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on the way to New York City on Sunday, I came across this piece of dialogue:
Mr. Prosser: This bypass has got to be built and it’s going to be built!
Arthur Dent: Why has it got to be built?
Mr. Prosser: It’s a bypass. You’ve got to build bypasses.
This exchange happens when Arthur Dent attempts to save his house from demolishment for the sake of progress. Arthur, who was quite attached to his house, wanted to find out the reason why it was going to be demolished and was unsatisfied with Mr. Prosser’s answer.
This past year, my school went 1:1 (one student per device) with iPads. When I started the year, at times I acted like Mr. Prosser. I did not always think about the reason for using the iPad. “I’ve got to use technology because technology is great to be used!” I thought, “Why? Because it is there!” However, over the course of the year I have realized that technology is not a panacea. It is merely a tool in my utility belt. As a result I have taken a look back on my year and created tangible new strategies that will help make my management of a 1:1 iPad classroom much more effective.
(image: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Avoid using technology solely as a gimmick
or…What’s tech got to do, got to do with it?