Is Stoicism Appropriate in Ed Tech?
I’m supposed to be an educational technology cheerleader for my school district. I’m supposed to champion the unrestrained exploration and adaptation of technology in all areas of K-12 learning. I’m supposed to network with individuals that have an insatiable curiosity and enthusiasm for educational technology in all of its many forms. And yet, the older I become (or perhaps the farther I get from the classroom), the more restrained I find myself when it comes to pursuing new technology.
I feel like the stoic Samurai in Yojimbo, or Clint Eastwood’s character in “Fistful of Dollars” (minus the penchant for violence and gunplay). I feel reserved compared to more fresh-eyed techies that make Kermit’s signature arm flail celebration look tame when they gather at large ed tech conferences. I’m not sure if this is a natural evolution of thought, practice, or just a result of where my professional path has taken me (farther from pure tech, and more towards curriculum and facilitation of groups).I’m quite comfortable with this development, but it makes me wonder if a healthy dose of stoicism is appropriate for those managing and driving the use of instructional technology. I’ve found myself drifting towards celebrating and uplifting transformative teaching and learning practice, regardless of whether it utilizes technology or not. At the same time, I don’t see many educators that have become “edu-famous” for their contributions to the realm of instructional technology transitioning to a more openly thoughtful reflection on instruction and learning in general. It makes me beg the question if perhaps I’ve drifted too far away from my old enthusiasm for instructional technology to truly be effective with it anymore.
I’m excited about where I’m headed, and still confident that I can edu-craft my way to successful use and implementation of instructional technology; I just don’t see it as the end all, be all means of education transformation that I once thought it to be. I hope I’m not alone in these thoughts, as it would make me more than a bit forlorn to be drifting away from so many educational technology enthusiasts that I call friends.
At the very least, I still have ds106, and excellent digital storytelling friends like Michael Branson Smith, to prompt me to write reflections like this with the help of some clever animated GIF challenges.