I became the incidental techie four years ago when I happened into an interview for a long-term substitute position as a computer teacher. I had been an elementary and preschool teacher since graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, and was looking for a new teaching position when I got the call about this particular position that had recently become available (about 30 minutes recently actually). I was excited to be in this school, but nervous about being the “computer teacher” because I honestly did not know much about computers other than word processing and personal use. I actually had to teach myself how to create a Power Point so I could have my fourth graders create one themselves. I figured that as long as I stayed a step ahead of what my students were doing, I would be ok. Plus, I could always have them practice keyboarding.
So, fortunate for me, I liked the school the school liked me, and they asked me to stay on. Now, I had never considered myself a computer teacher, nor had I considered myself tech savvy by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, when the Director of Educational Technology used the word “wiki,” I had to look it up when she left as I had only vaguely known about Wikipedia. Well, very long story short, I became “techie” or tech savvy if you will, by jumping in, taking time to play around on the computer (then a Dell PC), and finding and reading lots of blogs (which I found by just googling technology, teaching technology, etc.). Thank goodness for Free Technology for Teachers and I Learn Technology because these blogs led me to find and try so many different tools and sites, introduce these to my students, share them with my colleagues, create my own resource wiki, highlight and share my students’ successes on my school wiki, start a blog with my religious school class, and change the way I think of teaching and learning.