The Glitteratti. This is a term for teachers (and others) who seek the Glitter over the gold. (Please note that this post was very much inspired by the Tech Coach Blog post “Glue, Glitter and Gold, by Bob Harrison). Glitter is the fun, shiny, attractive parts of educational technology use. Gold is the substantive learning.
As humans, the glitter is very attractive. We are attracted to glitter is real, fundamental ways. However, we also need to be careful about not chasing after “fool’s gold” instead of the real thing.
A quick search of ISTE sessions for this year (I wasn’t able to go), provides this as the very first result of Concurrent Sessions: 101 Free Tech Tools for Teachers. The very first session. Skill level to evaluate, understand and process these 101 Tools? Beginner. (In case you’d like to preview the 101 Tools, I’ve provided a link.)
Now, I am just as guilty. Years ago, I attended some of these same sessions. Heck, I may have even presented a similar session. However, it’s not just one of these sessions. There are lots of them. (Check out 60 in 60, which has an entire web site and business associated with it). I’m also pretty positive that these folks mean well. However, if we are going to move Educational Technology forward, we need to focus not on the glitter, but on the gold.
Technology is becoming a fundamental part of education. Whether or not it makes the kind of impact that is possible or not is up to us. We need to make sure that we are leveraging technology to achieve accomplishments that we could only dream of in the past. Those accomplishments are geared around the latest glitter, but are deeply embedded in valuable gold.