Sunday, September 3, 2017

Just Do It

As a tech coach, most of my work is directly with teachers. Typically I will try and have a reflective conversation after we've worked through a lesson or activity. One thing these conversations typically feature is a regret, a lamenting of the difficulty of students using technology. A common feeling is that it isn't worth the time or the hassle. I hear it all the time:

"It's too hard."

"They ask too many questions."

"They can't keep up."

"This would be easier on paper."

All of those things are true. Right now. But the reality is that those things are only true because we don't emphasize using digital literacy skills in our classrooms. We get bored and complacent about the way we teach and give up on trying new things, regardless of how important they are. We do things because they are convenient and easy and we give up on things as soon as we sense difficulty.

It's what you do with that difficulty that is key. Robert Greene author of Mastery, gets the core of what I am talking about here:

“The pain is kind of challenge your mind presents - will you learn how to focus..., or will you succumb to the need for immediate pleasure and distraction?”

It's not just with technology. It's with anything. If you aren't willing to work through the pain and the discomfort, you'll rarely make any kind of growth or build confidence with anything new. True confidence is born from pushing through things that suck. The longer you sit with the pain and discomfort — and actually create something meaningful, the more confident and successful you will be.


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