Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Redefining the Tech Fridge Purpose

Last week we shared Darren Draper's post referring to ed tech as a "breakfast buffet." In response to that, Kristine commented and a couple of friends asked in person if the Tech Fridge was a metaphor for that. I had to admit, when I started the Fridge just over a year ago (whoops, forget my blogaversary on July 22nd), the name came from a more "cheesy" way of thinking. We wanted to provide you with the "coolest" tech ideas. But Darren's post changed how we are thinking. In a soon-to-be-coming out letter to my district tech people, I told them that with ed tech being a breakfast buffet, they didn't need to be connoisseurs of everything, but should know where to look to find valuable "food" to bring back to their "table." And I think that's where we are going with the Fridge. The grocery store brings in many different types of food for you, but your fridge stores just what you need and want. That's what we hope to do here. We want to bring in only the ed tech that will be valuable to you. We may stand on a soapbox every now and then, but only when we have something we are passionate about. While there won't be a noticeable difference in how we do what we do, the management of the Tech Fridge is working to make sure that we do the research and don't waste your time.
So, as we start a new year, thanks to Kristine and Darren and the rest of our ever-growing readership (didn't think it was a word until spellcheck skipped over it), we hope that you will join the conversation so that we can effectively store the "coolest" ed tech ideas for you.


Jason Everett said...

Great analogy. We use the buffet example in our workshops too. Our last workshop, Classroom Instruction that Works, I used the analogy that we (the facilitators) are only tour guides at the Mall of America. We won't have time to really dig in to each store but will get a smattering of what is available so you can go back and investigate what is best for each individual. Some of us can only afford certain things and so you have to budget your time and resources to those that will benefit you.

Great idea! Thanks for letting me comment.

J Allen said...

That's a great analogy as well. As a UNK grad, though, I can't believe you didn't use Hilltop Mall??
Thanks Jason!

Mrs. Morrow said...

I, too, love the analogy and have used it while presenting and teaching. I also like to tell people to pick and choose from the smorgasbord so that they don't get so "stuffed" that they feel miserable and end up doing nothing! Have a great Back-to-School everyone!

Kristine said...

Thanks for the shout-out - my boss was impressed that I was mentioned in an EdTech blog! I used this analogy in my last training - I really love it. I am all over SMARTBoard - so let me know if you need any help. I basically eat, breathe, think SMARTBoard and BlackBoard 24/7!

skip zalneraitis said...

A belated 'Happy Anniversary!!' to you.

J Allen said...

Ah, Skip, that's great...present in the mail, I presume?

Thanks Katie & Kristine!

Mr. Keller said...

I think this should be the role of all school tech facilitators and their blogs. As a teacher in the fridge's district, I have already emailed the fridge with new dinner suggestions for this year's classes. I have never been disappointed with the description or implementation of the technology. Also, I am kind of sick of smartboards of learning about smartboards. Seems like anytime somebody wants to talk about technology, it is use of smartboards. I understand why it is important to talk about, I am just ready to move on.

Great post!