Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Bleeding Edge

The Bleeding Edge of Technology

So "the bleeding edge" has been getting a lot of print lately, or maybe it's just the journalistic company I've been keeping. It rang a bit melodramatic to me (bleeding edge, now really?) UNTIL TODAY.

There's the cutting edge - at the forefront, on the cusp of innovation: a good place to be: don't we all want to be "cutting edge"? And then there's "the bleeding edge," which, as the term implies, is a bit too close to the knife, a bloody ordeal. The term seems to have started in reference to early versions of software - the ones with loads of glitches that make you want to take a sledge hammer to your CPU. With new technology comes metaphorical blood. Before I expose my gentle readers to my metaphorical blood, I shall first start with disclaimers:

  1. I'm crazy thankful to have iPads into my students' hands. Humbling -very- every time I stop to think about it.
  2. I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn (1st-year-teaching style) about technology integration and 21st century skills. I've always been a lover of learning, something not many get to do to this degree, mid-career.
  3. I realize that many to most teachers do not have the resources and support that I have.
That said,
I'm bleeding.

Following a very challenging day in the classroom, realizing that currently, I'm a less effective teacher with technology than without - that my learning curve is immense, that the dynamics of a classroom full of students coupled with persnickety technology and unchartered territory make for stressful days and loads of self-questioning.

I actually uttered the following to my husband: "I don't have time to have fun"(just before leaving him at a "fun" event to go back and work the bugs out of iPad export issue).

If a friend told me that her husband didn't "have time for fun," I'd be concerned for them both. Last night, though, that came out of my mouth. Bleeding, I tell you.

So while Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers) talks about the 10,000 hours needed for significant achievement in a field, the kind of monomania that I find myself embodying, balance and band aids must also be available.