When you think of technology integration within a classroom, you probably imagine iPads and laptops, apps and websites, online collaboration, internet research, maybe even a little robotics or coding. And you’re not wrong–there’s a ton of ways we can get technology into the hands of our students. Part of my job is to help teachers find those tools, devices, strategies, and ideas as we strive for meaningful technology integration within our school.
But there’s a lot that technology can do behind the scenes as well, and one of my passions is using technology as a productivity tool. I can’t even begin to tell you how many different to-do list apps I’ve tried, how many apps and extensions I’ve tested out, or how many hours I’ve spent trying to find yet another way for technology to make life a little more organized.
I use some incredible tools, and I have many recommendations, but I’m writing this today because I have to admit that sometimes technology isn’t the answer.
See, I am supposed to keep a log of my work in my new position, and I have tried about a million different ways to track my time using computers, apps, websites, and documents. I’ve created awesome graphs to show where I’ve spent my time, I’ve got extensions that remind me to track my time, and I’ve got apps on my phone that will keep track of what I’m doing with the tap of a screen.
But I don’t have my time logged for the past couple of weeks. Oh sure, I can look back at my calendar and put together a list of the things I worked on, but I didn’t use my fancy apps, extensions, or websites… because I was too busy actually doing to worry about tracking.
Obviously, keeping track of our time is partially just to hold us accountable in these new positions–to make sure we’re getting in and accomplishing meaningful and valuable work. But a large part of logging our time was meant to be reflective in nature: what am I spending my time doing? What am I not getting to? Who haven’t I worked with? How can I do better?
I spent so much time worrying about using the best combination of websites and apps to track my every movement that I’ve barely had time to actually look at what I’m doing. Perhaps that’s why it has taken me until the last week of our first quarter to realize that sometimes, as it turns out, technology isn’t the answer.
Of course, I’ll continue to log my time–using apps, calendars, a notebook, or whatever else it takes for me to keep track of what I’ve been doing. But upon reflection, reflecting (see what I did there?) upon what I’ve been doing is more important than tracking every minute of my activity.
So consider this my reflection for the past few weeks. As much as I love technology, I’m looking forward to spendig less time focusing on the minutiae, and more time in meaningful reflection.