Friday, March 15, 2013

Observing a Technology Integration Blog for 1:1

There is a good chance that you are reading this because I put the words "Technology Integration" or "1:1". This is my 26th blog on this site. I have a few followers that I think are pretty loyal to at least opening up the page and skimming it. I also probably have a few lurkers who catch my post on twitter and check out the page if it looks interesting. I also have a few random blog seekers who run across key words I label on the posts. 

Here is the observation I have made. In looking at my posts, I get almost a 300% increase in viewings when the post title includes something to do with technology. Crowdsourcing your 1:1 Professional Development holds the title for the most views, almost tripling any other post. Posts on pedagogy or developing relationships with students get little to no views. Apparently if I want my posts read, I need to place as many buzzwords into the title as possible. 

I believe the reason for this is fairly apparent. Those of you reading this Blog are probably tech-savvy and are interested in learning more about technology. Thus you read the blog posts that deal with your interests. Makes perfect sense. Sites like Zite or Pulse allow you to choose what kind of news you want to read. These types of popular sites are focusing our learning on what we want to know. 

I have a few concerns with this. First off, the more specialized we become, the less rounded. I have seen this on some of the twitter #edchats that I have contributed too. What I have found is that when you get a bunch of us tech minded teachers together in a virtual environment, we do nothing more than preach to the choir. A few weeks ago, the topic of one of the questions on #iaedchat was how do we develop better relationships with our students. Far too many of the responses revolved around giving them iPads or other devices to foster online social networking. Really? I posted that we should talk to them. I believe that many times that the more we focus on the trees, we miss the forest. 

There is something to be said for those liberal arts classes we all took in college. Remember the class on Russian history that you had to take from 6-9PM on Thursday night that you hated because all your friends were at the bar? That class had a purpose. It gives you perspective on something outside your chosen field. I urge you all to check out some blogs outside your interests. Try to broaden your perspective beyond just integrating technology or movie news (which is about all I check). 

Secondly, if the only ones reading these blogs are those interested in technology, we have another problem. We need to try to get the rest of our colleagues to read, to write, to spread their ideas across the nation. There is more out there than tech blogs. You are reading this, but does the teacher across the hall subscribe to these kinds of things? There are a lot of teachers that are resistant to integrating technology into their classroom. Perhaps the first step for that person  is to get them using it for themselves. I would not spend the time writing these pages if I didn't think that they had some kind of value to people. If you made it this far down the page, you must think the same. How can we get your principal, or team teacher to expand out in the same way you have? The more people that contribute to the conversation, the more the forest becomes apparent. 

Thoughts? Post a comment on how or why you came across this blog. It may be informative to see why people put precious time into reading these.