TCEA 2011: Lasting Impressions

TCEA 2011: Lasting Impressions

I recently traveled to Austin, and while I was there I was able to attend and present at the TCEA conference for a couple of days.  Amongst all the passionate educators, innovative technology, great presentations, and outstanding Austin food was a powerful message delivered by Leigh Anne Tuohy, played by Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”.  Since I had to depart from Austin early, I wasn’t able to see her in person – but thanks to good friends and modern tech, I was still able to hear her message.

Effectively, Leigh Anne Tuohy’s message reminded me that the reason we value “one-to-one learning” is that it’s personalized and individually relevant based on need.   “1:1” is a popular coin phrase in the edtech world today, but it should never be forgotten that before 1:1 technology devices were 1:1 relationships.  As Mrs. Tuohy said, “Lots of kids are falling through the cracks because they are valued incorrectly,” and technology in itself really has little impact on changing a life.

Technology may help create, sustain, and enhance relationships, but the real impact in changing lives comes from developing 1:1 relationships.  Technology may be a chosen tool to develop relationships, but it’s merely a means to an end.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but we should ultimately value Skype, iPads, cloud computing, and the like because of their ability to enhance teaching, learning, and relationships – not just because it’s awesome tech.

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