It was made to tell time and wake my ass up way to early. I don't try and do math with it, or hold papers down or defend myself against intruders. The tech I work with everyday is made for anybody doing anything. Even when it is labeled with "For Education" or "Educational Purposes" it really isn't. Even though schools are a gigantic market, companies continue to simple re-brand items. Ever wonder why your computer keeps breaking in your classroom? Maybe it is because that computer was not meant to sit in a dusty, non-filtered air, really hot or really cold environment where it is left on eight-hours-a-day and has at least three other devices plugged into it.
My life is a mixed up concoction of curriculum, people, ideas and technology. Things move quick and people find themselves changing their minds more than ever. Is the answer to look at curriculum then devices? Should we start a BYOD and accept everything and just make it work? Can we hide behind the excuse that "good teachers" can just let go of their kids and any tech will give them a voice and a legacy?
Garth and I have always tried to let curriculum guide our technology. As a tech PD guy, I like to emphasize that in the beginning steps of tech integration, streamlining processes that impede on teaching time are vital. Especially if you want your kids investing time in creative projects that connect curriculum to their lives. There is no right answer, of course. I have seen hundreds of districts do things different ways. They all...I mean ALL end up at the same place, given the same amount of time. Urban, Suburban and Rural districts all approach technology and professional development differently. I still cannot find a pattern. I could not sit down with a piece of paper and some district demographics and chart the clearest path to change. That is what is so great about this job. Education is about people, not products. Everything changes, people are always different and at the heart of everything is this shred passion to do everything better. Analytical people point to data, right-brainers point to creative student work. To say that I am in one camp or the other isn't a stretch. To say that I will always be in that camp is another conversation.