True superheroes know the evil forces they face, and they can name their most powerful nemesis. The mania of preparing for ISTE 2014 is nothing to an Ed Tech Coach or tech-evangelist educator. We replenish our powers via the rush of seeing learning happen, especially if the technology supporting that learning makes good sense. ISTE is a megajolt on the superhero power grid. Our most powerful Nemesis League will not be there to sap any of that energy. Dangerously, ISTEphoria often makes us forget that we will return to face the Nemesis League of the Reluctant, the Skeptical, the Exhausted, and the Fearful. They will be there, lurking in our schools when we get back. And if we are not cautiously aware of the dangers, we will leave ISTE unprepared to face them. Although they do not attend ISTE, the Nemesis League has power there. It is the force of Them-and-Us, the prideful temptation to join other ISTE-attending superheroes in maligning the Reluctant, the Skeptical, the Exhausted, and the Fearful:
“My teachers would never try this.”
“They would want us to do it for them.”
“My xx teacher won’t even…”
“Some of mine will try it, but I’ll never get xx to yy.”
Our superhero capes can be dangerous. At ISTE, everyone we talk to “gets it.” We are the points on the pencil, the early adopters, the willing, the connectors, the movers and shakers of learning (with technology). We LOVE the stuff. No Reluctants, Skepticals, Exhausteds, or Fearfuls would spend time or money on ISTE. So it is very easy to fall into talking about them. ISTE is edtech segregation — and can be a true danger to the powers of superhero edtech evangelists. Beware the pride of our own capes as a superheroes. We must vow to remind each other:
Fear is real.
Skepticism is a parasite that thrives on a perception of personal threat.
Time saps ALL teachers.
We are on their side, not fighting against them.
We must know our nemesis but vow not to malign him/her behind his back. If we do, we have lost to the Nemesis League’s insidious plot of pride. If we spend our time maligning our nemesis, we will never know them or win them over. Please help me in this vow, and I will help you. Let us don our capes wisely so they do not fall away to pride.