Friday, April 13, 2012

Technology & Socks in Education

Image result for education technology and socks bill ferriter

This is my first professional blog, so bear with me! I've been thinking about doing this for a while, but decided to "just do it" when a fellow blogger pointed out that it forces you to polish your thinking. That locked in my decision, so here we go.

Yesterday, I was in a discussion about technology as a motivator in education. I, without thinking (which is not rare) said "I think technology is like socks for today's kids. It's something they just put on when they wake up and it doesn't really impress them." This got a decent reaction from the people involved and caused me to think more about it.

Extrapolating on that thought, I believe that technology doesn't motivate my students because for them, it's an expectation. I think that things we expect do not impress us. As a result of this, I believe that the lack of technology in education is a de-motivator! When we have expectations that aren't met, we become disappointed, frustrated, and disengaged.

As a classroom teacher, technology is a tool for me to use while motivating my kids to learn. It's as much of a tool as my voice, my energy, the whiteboard in my room and glue sticks. But ultimately, it's up to me to use these tools to provide "good teaching" and many opportunities for kids to become motivated.


  1. Nice post Sean. You are being a little humble here. Not only was
    there a "decent reaction" to the socks metaphor but the presenter
    @plugusin used it as the opening quote and slide for the 2nd morning
    session at the workshop. Very cool and thought provoking. Enjoying
    the workshop and learning a ton!

  2. I don't think it is the technology that is the motivator BUT aspects that technology brings to the table -- such as audience, purpose and (hopefully) authentic learning -- can tap into the motivational part of students. Just plopping them down in front of a computer or technology device and expecting something to motivate them is like pushing a blank piece of paper and a pencil and saying, get to it. Our role as teachers has never been more important, in my opinion.

    PS -- Good luck with the blog. I'm putting ya into my RSS as soon as I am done commenting here.

  3. I had a lesson with teenagers yesterday and it was related to my iPad lesson plan that I developed on my blog with "Jetpack Joyride". Nevertheless, the teenagers were a little less motivated than usual and were not enthusiastic about it. This also got me wondering whether teaching is in fact more related to the development of rapport and interaction in the classroom rather than replacing teaching with bits of technical gadgets and kits.

    1. My lesson plan is available to view here:

  4. You are absolutely right! Kids stayed plugged in outside of school. Why should we ask them to unplug to at school? Let's meet them where they are instead of where we're comfortable.