Monday, May 6, 2013

The Connection Between Technology and Vulnerability in Students

This is one of those "heart of the matter" entries on teaching and technology.  It is an aspect of my own pedagogy that I have chosen to add as a part of this blog.

I often find myself asking, why are we making all these great lengths to integrate technology into the classroom or intervention strategies?   Besides all the obvious answers we have all heard from administrators,  I asked myself on Friday afternoon as I was driving home, what is it about technology and education that makes us excited about the future?.....

It is about vulnerability and connection.

I am a huge Brene Brown supporter.  If you don't know who she is, you should.  She is a social worker and researcher who has clinically studied shame in people over the last decade.  She gives insight on the things people do to overcome shame and connect to others around them on a grander scale.  In her book, Daring Greatly, she covers issues on teaching, vulnerability and connection.  She states:

"Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage."

How does this connect to technology integration in education?

As humans, we are hard wired to connect.  In today's world, we have phones that connect us to our family and friends via facebook, texts, video chatting, etc. 24 hours a day.   As tech savvy teachers, we have found a way to connect the technologies that we use on a daily basis to increase the quality of our children's education.  We see technology as a tool to facilitate more opportunities to develop courage and vulnerability in our students of all ability levels:

Using technology as *tool* to bring students together to solve real world problems (project based learning) using  social networking sites and spreading the word.

Using technology as *tool* to facilitate the opportunity for a student with hearing impairments to connect to oral speaking friends on a deeper level.

Using technology as a *tool* to let a child with autism tell his mother he loves her.

Using  technology as a *tool* to let the child with cerebral palsy participate in a sporting event.

Using technology as a *tool* to let the child with visual impairments text his best friend with his smart phone.

Everything about technology is about a deeper connection to the human experience.  I am so grateful to be a part of this exciting integration for my students with and without special needs.

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