The Oooo-Ahhh Versus the Ahhh-Haaa (by Jen Wagner)

I remember when I saw my first rotating font — at a Tech Conference in Long Beach, CA. I was mesmerized – and I cannot tell you what the session was about, but I remember the rotating font.

The bells and whistles made me clap. But the bells and whistles (or fluff) distracted me from seeing the content (or substance).

And I wonder if we are still doing that today –

If the bells and whistles of PowerPoint have now been replaced by the bells and whistles of the internet.

How often do we present or show a new tool just for the “WOW” factor and don’t give it the foundation to stand on?? The WHY you should be using this within your classroom.

I have seen how to green screen, seen a prezi, been google waving all over the place, and watched special effects with new image options………wow wow wow. And I clap.

But what have I learned and how will my classroom NOW be a better place because of the Oooo Ahhh —

I need it to become the AhhhHaaa. That lightbulb moment of why I need to use this.

When you – when I – forget to show the substance of the tool and only showcase the “oooo” of the tool – we do a disservice to both ourselves and those we are trying to teach.

We disservice ourselves, because we are better than just someone who hides behind the fluff. And we disservice those we work with because we leave them with a tool that perhaps will not be used to its educational potential.

* I don’t mind you showing me a rotating font – honest I don’t……as long as you continue on to why that rotating font just might be the “turning point” for a student.
* I don’t mind you sharing with me how to green screen – honest I don’t……as long as you continue to tell me why having a green screen just might “transport” a students learning.
* I don’t mind you captivating me with prezi – honest I don’t……as long as you continue to “move” me to see another presentation option and all the opportunities that provides.

For me – I need to work on getting past the “Oooo-Ahhh” moment – and making sure that teachers see the “Ahh-haaa” and walk away with not just the wow of the tool but also the usefulness of the tool.

Comment Challenge:
What is one “tool” that you see getting lost in the Oooo-Ahhh and how are you using it within your classroom as an Ahhh-Haaa?