What if, instead of trying to augment or enhance everything with technology, we let technology simplify and embrace reality. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this lately, and I think we might be doing this wrong (in some cases). We let technology create more noise, more distractions, more engagement. I don’t think that is necessary most of the time.

Intentional integration into a learning space, into one’s life and routines has it’s benefits. It can create opportunities to amplify our efforts to connect, to broaden our own understanding. But do we need that all the time?

I’m not saying, “Down with tech!" All I’m saying is, let’s not create more noise with it.

And I’m the worst at this. As I write, I’m distracted by my phone pinging and my Twitter feed scrolling in a remote corner of my monitor. All noise. All distractions.

What if we stopped making up ways for students to use technology? What if we helped them get rid of some of the noise? What if we asked them to use the technology to think about their thinking; to better understand the world around them and the role they may choose to take in that world?

What would happen if you asked them to take a picture of themselves at the end of every school day? What if they took a picture of something that described their mood on Friday, and a picture that described their mood on the following Monday? What sort of stories could be told?

Instead of making ways to make the technology fit, let the students find the fit. Instead of finding ways to engage your class through technology, find ways to engage your class through learning.

If we have to distract our students with these tools from what they are learning to keep them interested, we’re missing the point. They’re going to come down from the sugar high, and the crash will be ugly.

I just don’t think we give our students enough opportunities to meaningfully disengage from the distractions and the noise that we often use to water down our classrooms. I know there is power and purpose in learning with technology, but it feels like we’re veering too far from reality.

Think about it. Push back.