Why do tech savvy teachers fear social networking, and tech-timid teachers embrace it?
April 28, 2011 § 2 Comments
Lately, I have been teaching a lot of teachers how to use Twitter, blogging, and social networking to create a self-guided, self-paced system for professional development.
I’ve been surprised by something:
Often, the teachers I think of as tech savvy are very apprehensive (fearful?) of learning about how to use social media productively.
On the other hand, the teachers I think of as tech timid are often excited to embrace these new tools. Not reckless, mind you. But open… and motivated to learn. One teacher in particular had a very clear idea of how she wanted to begin building her online persona/profile, and while she was fearful of what personal details she might share online, it was a healthy fear.
As it turns out, I am one of the former: I am an academic technologist. I work with new technologies in education for a living. But like the other tech savvy teachers with whom I have been working, I too was hesitant to embrace these tools.
I have kept myself intentionally off the online radar. Googling for “Jeremy Angoff” would yield practically nothing. Now, however, I am learning to control (to the best of my ability) what you see when you Google for me. My goal is to create an online persona that accurately presents my professional life, and so far I’m happy with how it is coming together.
Just as I limited my online presence for the past few years, I am now nurturing an appropriate online presence now. As I learn how to nurture my own online presence, I can also teach other how to do the same.
But why did it take me so long to warm up to social media? And why are other tech savvy folks like me still avoiding this medium?
Perhaps this is the case: We who are tech savvy considered adopting social tools like Twitter several years ago when they were primarily being used to post information of limited value like what we had for breakfast. We were turned off of it early, and therefore turned it off. We closed our eyes back then to the way social media is being used now.
Those who feared it at first – the tech timid – are just now seeing the huge impact Twitter and other new media are having across the word: political movements, natural disasters, fund raising… and perhaps the potential for professional development.
Could that be it? I’m sure I don’t know, but if you have any thoughts on this please write a comment or contact me on Twitter @mytakeonit. Maybe my selection size is too small.
That’s just my take on it. The facts presented in my blog are correct to the best of my knowledge, and the opinions belong to those who state them. Don’t believe something I say? Look it up. Don’t like something I say? Let’s talk about it. Leave me a comment.