Building relationships through technology

Johnathan Martin’s recent post on Con­nected Prin­ci­pals really got me think­ing about the impact tech­nol­ogy can have on rela­tion­ships.  Very often we hear peo­ple talk about how tech­nol­ogy is harm­ing rela­tion­ships.  Johnathan’s post ref­er­enced his expe­ri­ence lis­ten­ing to Salman Kahn, and he sum­ma­rized Kahn’s mes­sage with the fol­low­ing phrases.

if we use tech­nol­ogy effec­tively, we don’t dimin­ish the inter­per­sonal and rela­tional qual­i­ties of edu­ca­tion, we enhance it.

tech­nol­ogy used well makes our learn­ing spaces more human and humane, more inter­per­sonal and rela­tional, than they have been for the past two centuries.

As Johnathan went on to say, tech­nol­ogy used appro­pri­ately can help embrace the “best of both worlds”.  Stu­dents can and should still make face-to-face con­nec­tions, but tech­nol­ogy allows stu­dents to make those rela­tion­ships even richer.  It also allows stu­dents and edu­ca­tors to con­nect with oth­ers which wouldn’t be pos­si­ble with­out technology.

Many edu­ca­tors, board mem­bers, and par­ents worry about teach­ers using tech­nol­ogy to con­nect with stu­dents.  Unfor­tu­nately, they don’t see the oppor­tu­ni­ties that tech­nol­ogy can pro­vide to enhance the rela­tion­ships that teach­ers have with their students.

I believe that as edu­ca­tors one of our major jobs is to build rela­tion­ships and get to know our stu­dents.  If tech­nol­ogy helps us do that, we need to embrace that!

The video below is Van Meter, IA stu­dents talk­ing about how they have used tech­nol­ogy to con­nect with others.

Nick Sauers

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