Thursday, October 14, 2010

Why aren't Women More Involved in promoting EdTech?

Yesterday, I was thrilled to participate in the Kickoff for the Alberta/Saskatchewan PLP group.  Like my vice-principal stated, it was great to be in a room full of people who didn't snicker "geek" or "nerd" whenever you got excited about technology.  I have another blog post in the works to discuss everything that happened yesterday during the official session.  However, after the session, several of us went out to dinner with Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, the creator of the PLP, and had the opportunity to discuss the day and talk about a variety of other issues.  It was a hoot!  We spent more time laughing than anything else. 

Sheryl posed the following question:  "Why aren't women more involved in promoting EdTech?".  It made me, and everyone else at the table, pause to ponder this question.    Why am I not taking a more active role?  This is an easy answer for me, personally, but I can not speak for other women out there.

Don't make me get up there:
I am terrified, absolutely terrified about speaking in public.   Yes, I know.  It's not exactly the greatest to trait to have as a teacher.  In fact, I still get nervous the first day of every class, even when I've taught those students before.  When I'm presenting, I'm fine until I start to set up.  Then my stomach begins to roll.  My face turns green.  I seriously start to look for the nearest bathroom in case I throw up.  I begin to pace.  Why, oh why, did I sign myself up for this?  Once the actually session begins, I calm down and am "good to go" as my mother would say.

What you talkin' about, Willis?
I'm terrified that when I'm up there, people will look at me and think, "Who does she think she is trying to teach us about this topic?  She's no expert.  Get her off the stage!  booooo....hissss...."  Or, maybe instead, they'll simply walk out because they think I'm an idiot with nothing valuable to share. 

Tech?  Again?
There are so many PD sessions out there that I have to question, is there really something new out there that I can share?  Why would they want to take something from me when they could take it elsewhere?


What it comes down to:
I know that for me, it has a lot to do with self-confidence it what I know and have to share with others and a little bit to do with stage fright.  Now that I've started this blog, maybe it will be easier to share what I know and am learning,

Something else I have noticed:
I attend a lot of PD, especially with a new math curriculum.  However, I used to attend of lot of PD with a tech focus.  I just realized that women make up most of participants at sessions like this.  So does this mean that they feel that they are still learning and do not know enough to share?  This is probably a major issue for most.  Why aren't men attending these sessions?  Is it because they feel they know it well already or because they don't care?  I'm sure there's a mixture of both out there but it certainly is an interesting question.

Thoughts from other women:
Tonight, I visited with my stamping group, another passion of mine, and asked them this question.  They were trying hard not to stereotype women so they focused on their own concerns.  Most of them have young children and are actively involved in their lives.  Where would they find the time?  In their households, they, more than the fathers, were the ones making sure that everything that needed to be done was getting done. Maybe in a few years, when their children were older, they would find the time to learn more about technology and then if there was still time left over, maybe they'd share with others.  So, where do I fit in?  No children. Just two pooches and a hubby.  I'm not spending the time running to basketball games, dance recitals or swimming lessons.  That adds hours to my day that others just do not have.

So, where do I go from here?
I realized that as a woman, I need to take more of an active role in promoting ed tech.  Currently, I am planning a session at our Divisional PD day (really have to get working on that as it is on November 1st, eeek!) as well as a supper series to focus on Math. 

Does this help?  A little bit, I'm sure.  I know that I want to be a positive role model for other women out there.  I just need to turn my itsy bitsy teeny weeny baby steps into bigger steps and then into strides.

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach asked me to participate in a panel to discuss this issue.  Hmmm...trip to the US...sounds like fun...speaking in public...oh no....  I'm thinking about it but I would want to do some research so that I felt like I had something intelligent to share.  At this point, I'm still waffling.  We'll see.

Question to you:
Why do you think women aren't more involved in promoting Ed Tech?

1 comment:

  1. Hello Sandi,
    First things first, I have seen you present and work with technology. You certainly have much to contribute and share to others who are not as adept as using technology so quickly. You also have a way of explaining things so that everyone understands - therefore, you have much to offer in the technology world!

    As for your question, I think some of the reasons women are not involved in promoting Ed Tech is for the reasons you mentioned above. However, as for me, I think some of it is the time factor. As a wife and mother of two teenagers I have a busy household. It is difficult enough to be teaching a new grade and taking graduate level courses. There are times when I find that I have to do a lot of juggling between my professional life and my home life. I am becoming more involved in promoting Ed tech, however, this is being done more-so at my school level. I am enjoying this as I am able to build my confidence with my co-workers and share with them what I am learning in my Masters of Ed. Tech. For me Ed tech isn't about an online tool or software program as much as it is about using technology efficiently and effectively in a classroom. I think more women are becoming more comfortable with technology and are now jumping on board.

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