The things teachers should never do with technology* No. 1

*but all of us do

The slight difference between ‘show’ and ‘tell’

A few years ago, I was asked by the a Dean of Education at a lovely university to talk to the PGCE students to give a short introduction to technology for teachers. It was just an hour, but I was thrilled at the prospect. There were so many wonders on the web that I wanted them to discover and use as they began their careers.

In my mind, this hour was to be spent in an IT suite and would be an open workshop of hands-on, student led, online discovery. I had prepared a whistle stop, thrill ride summary of tools, apps, sites and top tips for technology enhanced teaching. I was sure the trainees were going to be left breathless and shaking at the possibilities they had but glimpsed. Of course when I arrived and realised I was to deliver my ‘bit’ in lecture hall in front of 200+ students, with just a grainy projector as the my only technological friend, I came back to Earth with a big bump.

I should have known

It was an absolute rabbit-in-the-headlights moment. My talk was not going to work at all without any access to computers and I had no idea what I was going to now do or say. So while the students were being reminded of coursework deadlines and attendance expectations, I was sitting at the back, calming down and pulling myself together.

I hid behind my laptop, trying to look composed. Pop went my hands-on seminar and lists of resources to demonstrate and explore and in its place came… what?


It was at this point I think I decided that I had nothing left to lose and, probably out of desperation, took a very big risk with the talk I wrote. It was a situation that could have gone horribly wrong.

I was very close to collapse when I ultimately stepped out in front of the huge crowd. I loaded in my (just written) Prezi and jumped, hoping that my parachute was going to open.

It did.

Those poor students were then subjected to an hour of relentless stand up comedy entitled ‘the 10 things teachers should never do with technology (but always do.’ ….Complete with funny voices, ridiculous scenarios, volunteer performers and a fair amount of making it up as it went along. And yes, They loved it.

And so did I. It was a talk I have refined, repeated And revelled in delivering ever since. Now I’m turning into a blog series. It is the gift that just keeps giving.


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