Learning how to do new things can be difficult. Learning how to do the same thing you’ve always done in a new and different way is even more difficult.
Now that we’re on the near vertical portion of the technology j-curve, it’s helpful to remember that we must live in the midst of change. This is not the time to feel comfortable. Being comfortable–especially where technology is concerned–may be a thing of the past. I don’t see the speed of innovation and creativity leveling off anytime soon. I suppose it could, but there are too many possibilities–and possibilities often become realities.
A good way to tell if you’re attempting to learn new technologies is if you find yourself intellectually lost at least once during the day (HT: Nassim N. Taleb). If you always know what you’re doing, then you’re never growing your skills.
The amount of wonderful stuff that’s being created right now for teachers and students is pretty incredible. I’ve been in the field of education as a teacher for almost nine years now, and I’ve never seen anything like it. Twitter is the best place to find what’s being created, but that’s just the start. Teachers are taking to blogs and sharing lessons, screencasts, and directions on how to use Google Apps for Education and various learning management systems in ways that are seriously impressive.
The role of the teacher has reached new levels of professionalism thanks to this proliferation of information. In many cases, teachers must not only know their content areas, but also how to incorporate technology into the classroom. This includes changes to how assignments are assigned and collected, information is dispensed, time is used, students communicate, the set-up of the classroom, the timeframe of learning, professional development, professional learning communities, best practices, and much more.
Teachers are on fire right now in their passion for using the most effective tools to teach students.
Things are taking off. The j-curve has just begun.
The term “J curve” is used in a myriad of ways to explain various fields: balance of trade model, private equity, stability vs. openness, medicine, political science/revolutions…
I think of a J curve along these lines: Five years ago I didn’t want a smartphone and saw no reason to ever own one. Today, I check my phone multiple times a day and use it to talk, text, tweet, surf, teach, write, find my way, locate restaurants, buy tickets, and read–to name a few.
Our lives have changed dramatically because of technology, and whether we like it or not, life will change more suddenly than the past. That’s the J curve. Who knows what things will look like a few years from now. What will we be wearing? What will we be eating? Will technology eventually become so small it’s invisible?
How does that change us?