Considering that I abide by a personal philosophy for my life, having a correlating philosophy that catered more specifically to teaching or explicitly to ‘teachnology’ seemed like a valid and logical trajectory to follow. While it was rather straightforward for me to conclude that having a personal Philosophy of Teachnology was important, pinpointing a set of reasons as to why, was slightly more difficult. This may have been partially due to the fact that I somewhat share Eleanor Roosevelt’s following view; “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” I suppose, therefore, that for me, having a personal Philosophy of Teachnology is important, in order to have a set of guidelines that encourage good choices in various situations.
Simply put, having a solid personal Philosophy of Teachnology helps keep one’s proverbial “boat” (i.e. you as a teacher) anchored, through the tides of change and stormy seasons. Regardless of what new technologies or teaching theories come and go, one’s philosophy should be broad enough to allow for the inclusion of new applications, while adhering to the values and objectives touted. Having said this, I do believe that there is always room for one’s philosophy to evolve. Although I think that excessive and frequent modifications will cause one’s “vessel” to flounder, potentially making on’es philosophy a moot point, permanently mooring it and not allowing for any amendments at all may also be problematic.One’s perspective, and in turn philosophy is bound to change with experience after all. In the end, I hope that my Philosophy of Teachnology will allow me to set sail on occaison, while keeping me anchored in my proposed objectives, so that I can make good teaching and technology choices for my (prospective) students.
I loved your quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. I too often have a difficult time articulating what both my personal, teaching, and coaching philosophies are in words. I believe that it is easier to demonstrate rather than write down, however trying to articulate it may be a good way to reflect upon it.
Additionally, I appreciated your analogy with your second point. I agree with you that one’s philosophy will likely need to evolve and will do so naturally throughout one’s career. However, as you have said, completely changing it or abandoning it makes creating a philosophy pointless. I think that this is important to keep in mind when reflecting on ones personal Teaching Philosophy and personal Philosophy of Teachnology.
Thanks K, I appreciate your response and it is comforting to know that there are others that find the task of succinctly summing up one’s philosophy in a written format, slightly challenging. I have to admit that actually demonstrating it, will also be quite difficult and probably the ultimate test for me. While I have an idealized concept of how I will teach students using technology and how I will respond to various challenges in the classroom, I have a feeling that nothing will quite prepare me for the actual reality. I hope, therefore, that my Teachnology and Teaching Philosophies become almost inherent, so that it automatically reflects in my actions and teaching, rather than simply an eloquently written statement that gathers dust. Although it might be useful to perhaps attempt to coherently put one’s philosophy on paper, as the actual process might be a worthwhile activity, in the end, I think that one’s philosophy – written or unwritten (as well as private or personal) – is meaningless if it does not ultimately benefit one’s students. I really hope mine does, and if it does not, I hope I will be able to recognize that, then reflect (as you suggested above) and revise…
Once again, thank you for your insight. It is nice to read that someone else thinks that making a Philosophy of Teachnology seems more difficult than actually just doing it. But yes, I do agree that despite the difficulty, it is still worth making one to stay “anchored”. However, more importantly, I like that you spoke about how a Philosophy of Teachnology could evolve and not remain static. Beyond the difficulty of actually putting a philosophy into words (I was already floundering thinking about how specific and detailed the examples were.), I was worried that I would have to make it something that should be strictly adhered to for the rest of my career. Being relatively inexperienced, although I think making a Philosophy of Teachnology is important, it is not something I want to commit to completely yet, so having that leeway of evolving it with added experiences is reassuring.
Furthermore, I was musing not only about an evolving Philosophy of Teachnology but going so far as to making multiple ones. As someone who plans to not only teach in Canada, but also overseas, I question if it is really possible to keep a consistent Philosophy of Teachnology. There is the very likely possibility that from country to country, students will have to meet different cultural and academic expectations. Morever, the availability and extent of technology use in the education setting may also be differ; thus, I believe a personal Philosophy of Teachnology will have to change depending on the greater context of the situation. Anyway, I am not sure if making multiple Philosophies of Teachnology is possible, but it was something I contemplated about after reading your post.
Thanks for your reply and especially for bringing up the international perspective. I would have to completely agree with you in that one’s Philosophy of Teachnology in one country, may not translate to another very well. The one example I can think of off-hand, actually deals with the implementation of basic calculators. Although in Canada, students in schools are introduced to calculators at an early age (typically elementary school), in Japan this is not common. In fact, there they prefer to emphasize fundamental math skills first (often through rote memorization – Kumon programs etc.), and therefore, I’m not certain how kindly they would take if a teacher were to introduce calculators to their students, as early as they do in Canada. Anyway, that is just one brief example of which I was reminded, when reading your post. I am sure there are many other countries that have comparable differences to explore and contemplate…
I agree with your notion that to pinpoint the reasons behind our Philosophy of Teachnology will be somewhat challenging and to convey them to others equally as challenging. I am quite certain that principals and many teachers (especially more recent to the field of education) know the value of technology in the classroom and may even abide by their own Philosophy of Teachnology. I also agree with your statement that as technology undergoes changes and advancements so too will our philosophy. It is equally important for us to convey this to those that we share our philosophy with so that as our role as educator evolves and improves, we can confortably “tweek” our philosophies as a reflection of this.
Thanks T! I definitely hope that I can successfully “tweek” my philosophy adequately enough to successfully meet the needs of my students and the era in which they are living…
All the best in developing your philosophy!