• Twitter
  • Medium
  • Google+
  • Podcast
  • Youtube

3/5/11

It's Okay to Love Technology

I wrote this after reading a thought-provoking post on the Spicy Learning Blog.

When I first began blogging, I felt like a lone Luddite in a techno-wilderness. While writing about the greatest "killer apps" (sadly, not nun-chucks), I wrote about the need for technology criticism. I'd cringe about a glassy-eyed description of the future class erasing the boundaries of time and space.

I thought I was alone.

I wasn't.

It was pure arrogance on my part and I soon ran into Doyle's Science Teacher blog and saw the value of understanding the physical world. Using a more poetic, honest and narrative format, he managed to speak what I felt.

So, I wasn't exactly a trailblazer as much as a tech critic on the wrong trail. However, I've noticed that it's become commonplace now to put pedagogy above technology. I constantly read retweeted lines about why the real magic is the learning and the students and the thinking.

And yet . . .

To say, "You shouldn't love technology, you should love pedagogy," is akin to saying, "You should love the points you made about Sufjan's newest album" rather than saying, "I really love getting a chance to sip coffee and have a conversation with Quinn."

I expect an author to love his or her ultra-trendy Moleskin or retro typewriter or, God forbid, brand-new Mac Book. Similarly, I expect a guitarist to appreciate his sing-string companion. I expect any master of any art to love his or her tools.

The point is to get past the novelty phase and love the medium, knowing all of its faults and understanding its limitations. I want to be grateful for the medium, knowing its power and potential without trying to convince myself that the tool will not change me in both good and bad ways.
JOHN SPENCER
Professor. Author. Speaker. Maker.
I want to see kids embrace creativity. As a teacher, this meant murals, documentaries, STEM camps, and coding projects. As a dad, this has meant elaborate pillow forts and home-made pinball machines. This is why I co-wrote Wendell the World's Worst Wizard and co-founded Write About. I am convinced that design thinking can thrive in every content area, which is why I am launching the free design thinking course this summer.

Contact

Send me your questions, ideas, or speaking inquiries.