I’ve expanded and modified my definitions of educators and their relationships with technology:
- Cliff Divers: Coined by my friend, Nathan Garvin, Cliff Divers do exactly what the name suggests: They dive into the new and unknown. Does it matter if they’ve never heard of a new technology? By no means; they’ll use whatever looks promising and assess its effect later.
Curators: These are the teachers who are on the prowl for the best, and only the best, apps, devices, etc. They’ll wait until they hear good things about a product, try it, and then either keep it or toss it. Curators rarely share what they’ve discovered, but when they do, it’s pure gold.
Cluttered: These educators will try everything and then try some more. Their students are always learning new programs, piloting new apps, and (perhaps unfortunately) focused more on the technology than the content. Cluttered teachers are good because they dig up a lot of stuff and help the Cliff Divers and Curators find the good material.
Cautious: Whenever new technology is introduced, the Cautious are apt to be skeptical. ‘How is this better than what I’m already doing without technology?’ is a standard question. These educators will ask Cliff Divers, Curators, and Cluttered teachers tough questions, which are needed whenever new technology is introduced into a classroom.
Critical: The Critical teachers don’t like change and probably never will. Most things that are new are seen as a threat, which often agitates the Critical educators. They are the workers, as Jim Collins would say, who need to either get on or off the bus.
Most teachers fall on a spectrum and probably encompass more than one of the C‘s. With all the change happening in education right now, it’s a good time for introspection.