Skip to content
Guest Thinkers

Ed tech quarantine?

[cross-posted at the TechLearning blog]


nn

Thisnis a picture of the Mobile Quarantine Facility built by NASA for astronauts returning fromnthe Moon. It’s basically a modified Airstreamntrailer. The idea was to isolate the astronauts until it was determined thatnthey didn’t have ‘moon germs.’ Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and MichaelnCollins stayed in this quarantine trailer for 65 hours after their return tonEarth (Welcome back, heroes. Get in this trailer!).

n

Of course my pathetic brain saw this and immediately started thinking aboutneducational technology. How sad is that?!

n

This MQF (gotta love those government acronyms!) got me thinking aboutnwhether we technology early adopters need a self-imposed moratorium on talkingnabout new technology tools, at least in certain settings. One of the most commonnrefrains heard from teachers or administrators who listen to us talk or blognabout all of these new cool tools is “Why do I care about this as anneducator?” In our eagerness to share our nearly-palpable glee andnexcitement, we often struggle to adequately answer the “So what?” question innways that are substantive and meaningful to the average teacher ornadministrator.

Smarter faster: the Big Think newsletter
Subscribe for counterintuitive, surprising, and impactful stories delivered to your inbox every Thursday

n

So when a new tool comes out – Twitter,nDiigo, whatever – maybe we should hold offnfor a bit before we start blabbing to educators who don’t live as close to thened tech edge as we do. Maybe we should voluntarily follow a process that looksnsomething like this:

nn

nnn

nn

I believe that an emphasis on pilot testing, experimentation, andnidentification of both mainstream educator use(s) and optimal trainingnmechanisms before introduction to other educatorsnoften would help us quite a bit. Instead of turning off the very educators thatnwe want using many of these tools, some time spent in the ed technquarantine might go a long way toward facilitating our overallngoal of greater technology adoption in K-12 classrooms.

n

I don’t know if I’ve gotten the quarantine process exactly right. And ofncourse many of you already do some version of this. But I think this is anconcept that generally should be kept closer to the forefront of our brains.nWhat do you think?

n


Related

Up Next