One of my earliest posts (Volume #7) was about how to use technology to its maximum advantage in the classroom. I’ve sometimes been referred to an “early adopter” (one who starts using a product or technology as soon as it becomes available) because I like trying new tools as soon as I hear about them. However, the term “Early Adoption” seemed antiquated to me when talking about EdTech. I looked it up, and in fact the term originates from the technology adoption life-cycle originally published in 1957.
I think a better term might be “Early Adaptation” as one is”adapting” to how things will eventually be for all, rather than “adopting” something unusual, different, or foreign. Adoption is a concise process, where adaptation is ongoing. Am I just debating semantics here, or does someone else see my point?
So, to my current sixth grade students, that would be nothing invented before 2004. This means they see laptops, hybrid cars, iPods, camera phones, DVR or Tivo, and the internet as just regular normalcy, not technology. Our using them in the classroom would be analogous to when your teachers used television in the ’70s or ’80s: flashy and fun, but not novel or new.
The other day, I read that TRON was disqualified from receiving an Academy Award nomination for special effects. The reason? The Academy felt that the use of computers was cheating. No, really.
First of all, I can’t imagine the technology available in 1982 wasn’t more of a handicap than a shortcut. But anyway…
If you asked the students in your classroom about movies and special effects (or FX as they may spell it) they would think it synonymous with computers, CGI, and so on. There wouldn’t even be a line of distinction.
Education, like Hollywood, is an establishment. While we are not funded or respected like Hollywood (Vol.#45: Why Doesn’t George Clooney Have to Deal With This Crap?) there’s one important similarity this TRON trivia fact clearly elucidates:
The establishment often does not support or even understand a major industry change when it first arrives.