Need For Expanding Use of Technology Is All Around
In recent posts I have discussed the need for educators to embrace the use of technology in their programs. Last night I realized this is a need not just for educators.
I am a Detroit Tigers fan. Last night I was on the edge of my seat as Armando Galarraga pitched the 21st perfect game in Major League history. Or so I thought. As the 27th out was completed, the first base umpire called the runner safe. click here to see the video. Even non-baseball fans will have no problem spotting the mistake.
Two years ago Major League Baseball took a step toward accepting technology by instituting limited instant replay to refer calls relating to home runs. This was a major leap forward for an industry with ideals rooted in the past. To draw an analogy with educators, they now had computers in their classroom. Last night’s events were an example of them still not being able to use them effectively.
This morning, Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated, wrote a piece on the Galarraga incident titled “A Missed Call That Could Change Baseball”. It is a good read, but I was drawn to this paragraph late in the article:
Expanded instant replay in baseball always was a matter of when and not if. It was going to take a generation of people who grew up comfortable with technology moving into decision-making positions in major league baseball. Jim Joyce just put that timetable on fast forward.
I specifically noted the phrase “…generation of people who grew up comfortable with technology…”. Does this happen by accident? Obviously not. We, as educators, have to be the ones who are giving opportunities for this comfort to exist, for students to be able to apply what they know about technology to solving problems which exist around them in the world. Is there any reason that baseball should not adopt a model of two “red flag referals”, akin to those in tennis and football? Verducci is spot on in his observation that this is about comfort. As educators we are comfortable doing what we have always done. That is no longer in the broad interests of our students, and we need to embrace technology in the same way we expect others to, and in a way which gives our students the comfort to be innovators.