Thursday, July 7, 2011

What Would Darth Vadar Do?

     Many teachers, good teachers, even GREAT teachers, think of technology as the DARK SIDE. Why? Well, perhaps it is just a fear of the unknown. Perhaps these teachers fear loss of control as technology sometimes slides you into more of a facilitator role (isn't that a good thing?). If you are a content area teacher, you keep up with how your content evolves so why not keep up with the best means to engage your students? If your lack of technology expertise makes you feel inadequate, become better educated. Make it a priority. After all, the fate of the Galactic universe is in your hands. As I blogged earlier, it's really a mindset issue that I believe will take more than one Jedi to fix.
      What would Darth do? I'm sure the Emperor would tweet him to find the best teacher who integrates technology seamlessly into his or her curriculum and then clone that person--and of course, blast any teachers who did not comply. Boy, that would give a whole new meaning to mandated professional development. I'm betting Darth wouldn't think that was the best method. Darth would probably consult his PLN for a solution. I think Darth would agree with Tom Whitby that we should begin with a different type of PD. Darth would push for relentless, rigorous technology training and he would then follow up with multiple classroom visits to see how things are going. (Can you picture that black cape strutting down your hallway?) Darth, although not the best dad, knows his son, Luke, while skilled, is no digital native Jedi. Darth knows that a Jedi only becomes a master through a lot of training and support. Of course, wouldn't all teachers want to become Jedis as they are given so much respect? Wouldn't all Jedis want to become Master Jedis?
     Lots of talk out there in the universe about "no excuses". I hear you. I understand your frustration. So Administrators, let's set the bar high. Let's set clear expectations about technology implementation in every classroom. Let's evaluate teachers based on those expectations. Let's make sure we support them with the right training, tools and encouragement. Let's remember what Yoda said, "There is not try, there is only do." So, let's do.

Darth Vadar, pictured here at the Laptop Institute during a lightsaber demonstration.


  1. I often use the quote from Yoda. I like it. But, it doesn't capture the whole scene which revolves around the fact that Luke doesn't understand that he had to believe he can do it, he has to believe in the Force and what it is capable of doing and he must believe in his connection within that Force. What Yoda sees is that it doesn't matter what technology Luke uses or what powers he develops, if he doesn't believe in the power of the Force, he will not succeed. Just as with teachers, it doesn't matter what technology they use, they won't be successful unless they believe; mostly in the children they are teaching. Yoda is a great example for those of us who rely on technology, it cannot replace our need to have faith and believe in those around us. As Luke learns, it won't be his lightsaber that defeats the Emperor; it will be his faith in his friends.