Recently, my colleagues and I were invited to participate in a professional development session in which the following video was presented in order to make us question the methods we currently use in our instruction:
The students in the above video show us how technology can play an influential role in the development of their understandings of the world. Their request, however, is epitomized in the final segment of the presentation when they cry out in calligraphic unison: “Engage me!”
So how do we do that? Is technology the key to student engagement and quality instruction? Do I need to be computer literate to be considered an effective Teacher? Are all of the newest devices the next “sure fire” methodology that will finally lead us into the Educational promised land?
Whenever we consider student engagement, effective teaching, and especially the “promised land,” we should always look to the greatest teacher who ever lived for guidance. That Teacher is Jesus, and His pedagogy remains perfect to the present day.
Jesus didn’t have computers. He didn’t have iPods. Very rarely did He even have access to paper and ink. And yet He was constantly engaging thousands upon thousands of interested (and some uninterested) students who fell in love with His creative charisma and held on tight to His meaningful lessons. Although He didn’t have cutting edge technology at His disposal, He had the ability to communicate the truth of the Gospel message by both secular and spiritual means. This truth what made Him an effective Teacher.
This truth just happens to be what makes us effective teachers as well. Through our relationship with God, we have access to the same creativity, charisma, and intellectual communicative skills that Jesus had. In fact, we form part of His celestial body even though we remain on earth. We are like little USB drives that attach to His Heavenly computer tower, expanding our memory at the rate of grace. He takes us out and inserts us into the minds of our students so that they can copy and paste our God-given knowledge into the hard drives of their intellect and remix, remake, and invent new information as the Spirit guides them.
So is Technology the key to good teaching? No, Jesus is. Do we need to be computer literate to be effective? No, we need to be spiritually upgraded whenever possible. Will the next devices lead us into the promised land? No, but if we learn the instructional secrets from the Master, we will surely find the way, the truth, and the life.
Live Jesus in our hearts forever!