empowerment

Can technology empower me?

Monday, December 27th, 2010 | technology | Comments Off

The word empowerment has become somewhat of a cliché – it is often used simply because it is the politically correct thing to say, without understanding its true meaning.  For many people it simply means receiving something they never had.

How can we define empowerment?

Empowerment is the process of increasing the capacity of an individual to make choices and to transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes.

This means that, for you to be empowered, two things must happen to you:

Your ability to make choices must be increased.  Some people, through no fault of their own, are not aware of the options open to them and follow the only course they know – these ones need empowerment.

Once you’re aware of your options, and you’ve chosen the one you want to follow, you must have the ability to translate that choice into action.  If you remain in a position where you can’t act on your selected path, you are powerless – clearly in need of empowerment.

What role can technology play in this process of empowerment, particularly in the case of teachers?

Technology can increase your ability to make choices.  How?  Perhaps you’ve been trained to teach in a certain way and everyone else in your school teaches the same way.  Are you aware of alternatives?  Technology – particularly through the internet – opens up a global store of information about various teaching methods to you.  One of the new options that will open up to you is the use of technology as a teaching tool for yourself and a learning tool for your learners.

Once you’re aware of your options, technology will provide you with opportunities to translate your choices into action.  It will help you to learn more about complementary teaching methods, and if those methods include the use of technology, you can use technology to equip you will the skills you’ll need for the new way of working. 

If you feel you are running on a treadmill and need to take charge of transforming your classroom, technology is just what you need.  But bear in mind that technology is only an empowerment tool – true empowerment depends to a large extent on how you use it.

And remember, technology will only empower you if you power it “on”!

For more technology tips for teachers click here.

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Can an interactive whiteboard empower me?

Sunday, February 14th, 2010 | IWBs | Comments Off

Before this question can be answered, we first have to understand what “empowerment” really means.  The word is rather overused these days and has become somewhat of a cliché.

Empowerment is defined as the process of increasing the capacity of an individual to make choices and to transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes.  Empowered people have freedom of choice and action. This in turn enables them to better influence the course of their lives and the decisions which affect them.

This means that empowerment is about two things:

  • increasing your ability to make choices
  • increasing your ability to translate those choices into action.

Can your interactive whiteboard do this for you?  Yes, it can.

It opens up a global store of information to you so that you are aware of all the choices you have in teaching methods and resources to support them.  Your interactive whiteboard also has the potential to give you alternative ways to work in the classroom – this ability is in itself liberating and empowering.

An interactive whiteboard can give you wings!  If you feel you are running on a treadmill and need to take charge of transforming your classroom, an interactive whiteboard will be a powerful tool to help you.  You will be surprised how the use of this device could boost your confidence in the use of technology – you will suddenly find that you are no longer on the wrong side of the digital divide.

But keep in mind that an interactive whiteboard is only a tool.  True empowerment depends to a large extent on you.

And remember, your interactive whiteboard will only empower you if you power it “on“!

Click here for more information about interactive whiteboards.

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How can a laptop empower me?

Saturday, April 25th, 2009 | laptops | Comments Off

Before this question can be answered, you first have to understand what “empowerment” really means.  The word is rather overused these days and has become somewhat of a cliché.

Empowerment is defined as the process of increasing the capacity of an individual to make choices and to transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes.  Empowered people have freedom of choice and action. This in turn enables them to better influence the course of their lives and the decisions which affect them.

This means that empowerment is about two things:

  • increasing your ability to make choices
  • making it possible for you to translate those choices into action.

Can your laptop do this for you?  Yes, it can.

It opens up a world store of information to you so that you are aware of all the choices you have, both in your personal and professional life.  Your laptop also has the potential to give you an alternative way to work.  Being a mobile device, it gives you the choice where you want to work, when you want to work and how you want to work – this ability is in itself liberating and empowering.

A laptop can give you wings!  If you feel you are running a treadmill and need to take charge of your own professional development, a laptop may prove to be a powerful tool to help you.  You will be surprised how the use of this little machine could boost your confidence – you will suddenly wake up to the fact that you are no longer on the wrong side of the digital divide.

Once you are empowered, you, in turn, can help your learners to taste true empowerment. 

But keep in mind that a laptop is only a tool.  True empowerment depends to a large extent on you. 

And remember, your laptop will only empower you if you power it on.

Click here to find answers to more laptop related questions.

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