Sunday, January 31, 2016

Tech Guilt

An interesting thing happened this past Christmas Eve. Even though we arrived for the evening church service 20 minutes early (which is a miraculous thing in itself for our family), we were not in time to get a seat in the main sanctuary. We joined about 40 other people in folding chairs in the lobby area watching the service on the television. When the songs began, we quickly realized that there were no hymnals in the overflow area. Luckily most of the songs were traditional Christmas hymns. During the first song, I noticed that one of the men in our row had his phone out. How rude I thought! However, I soon realized that he was using it to look up the song lyrics. During the next song, I had my phone out and quickly Googled the song lyrics along with several others. By the last song, nearly everyone in the section was doing the same thing. Even though we were using it for a very valid reason, I still had a tremendous amount of guilt for using my phone during a church service. I could tell others felt the same as they quickly put their phone away with a look of guilt after each song. My wife refused to use her phone and faked her way through some lyrics, because the use of technology in the church just didn't seem right. It's amazing how strong some of our technology taboos are even when they are helping us do the right thing.

I've also noticed and experienced a fair amount of "tech guilt" in the schools. I try to post out a daily picture or tweet of the great things happening in our classrooms. However, when posting on my phone I'm always careful to tell everyone around me that I'm posting a picture of students so they don't think I'm "playing" on my phone. I've seen the same thing with teachers. Teachers may be taking a picture of a science project and posting to Class Dojo, but feel the need to tell me why they had a device out and how they are using it. Even principals have expressed tech guilt to me. I've heard people explain that they will use a device to share out the great things happening in school, but don't want to be seen by staff using their device.  We need to let go of the guilt for using tech!

For years, we've been programmed that there is a time and place for technology and church and schools are certainly places where it's been discouraged (in my opinion). I think what needs to change is not whether we should use technology in certain places, but how we use it. If it enhances what we are doing, why wouldn't we use it? Our technology attitudes will trickle down to our students, so we need to let go of our tech guilt and be more focused on ways we can use it to enhance experiences at school. Although I'm a firm believer that nothing will ever replace face to face conversations and personal relationships, I'm letting go of my tech guilt and will focus on using it to help enhance communication and relationships. Are you suffering from tech guilt?



"Guilt: The gift that keeps on giving." - Erma Bombeck

"How blunt are all the arrows of thy quiver in comparison with those of guilt." - Robert Blair

"I don't believe in collective guilt, but I do believe in collective responsibility." - Audrey Hepburn

Baby hears for the first time (1 minute)


Monday, February 1: Wennstrom out in pm for doctor's appointment
                                   MIRM Planning Meeting (open to all) in Benson's room 4:00 pm
Tuesday, February 2: Staff Meeting 8:00 am (Lynn Merchant facilitating)
Wednesday, February 3: Parent Meeting (Nadon/Limberg) 8:20 am
                                       Wennstrom to C.O. for Focus Group Meeting 1:00-2:45 pm
                                       SOTM Assembly 3:00 pm
Thursday, February 4: Several staff out for Title I conference (Bill Green on call)
                                     PTA Meeting 6:30 pm
Friday, February 5: Daddy Daughter Dance 6:00-8:00 pm

Tuesday, February 9: PBS Committee 8:05 am
Wednesday, February 10: Administrative PD 8:00-11:30 am
                                          REED (Robertson/Limberg) 2:30 pm
Thursday, February 11: Staff Meeting (Self-Assessment) 8:00 am
                                       Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 pm

Monday, February 15: No School for Mid Winter Break
Tuesday, February 16: No Students (1/2 Day District PD - 1/2 Day Building PD)
Thursday, February 18: Staff Meeting (Self-Assessment) 8:00 am


  1. Love the bus image! I have experienced tech guilt on occasion, but our teachers are so used to me taking pictures and tweeting throughout events that I assume that they know what I'm doing on it. If I'm with someone who is not aware of what I might be doing, I do share with them what I'm up to. :-) (And that usually leads to a great conversation about social media!)

  2. I am guilty!! LOL I am always afraid the children are going to go home and tell their parents that I am on the I-pad/phone all the time. I am usually posting pictures to class do-jo or giving points. I am starting to feel less and less guilty since the class realizes what I am doing!