Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thoughts and a question


My apologies for not blogging as much this year as in years' past. Much of that had to do with a very tough set of classes this year, including one which I felt very unqualified to teach. I was definitely out of my comfort zone for September and October. The addition of a wonderful Special Ed. teacher into the class helped in so many ways it would take an entire blog post just to detail them. Suffice it to say he taught me much and I am a better teacher for the challenge.

That said, this has been a year of technological growth for me in several areas. While cell-phones and all electronic devices are still banned from the classroom (despite my pleas to the contrary), a technology more trusted by the administrators has been established in my classroom: a SmartBoard!

I'd been asking for this particular type of technology for over a decade, so when the district finally bought into it and purchased/leased several, I hoped to be one of the early adopters (can you call someone an "early adopter" when the technology is so old?). I got my board in April and couldn't wait to make it do tricks.

What I'm finding, however, is that it isn't nearly as student-interactive as I'd like it to be at the high school level. We need to get the software onto student computers so they can create cool presentations, too. While it can do a few more fun things than I could do with my tablet and the projector, it's seeming to be a case of too-late-technology arriving after more spectacular changes have taken place (have you seen Prezi?)


Has anyone else noticed a new phenomena when it comes to technology and schools? I had several students this year who had either Smartphones or had a satellite uplink for their laptops. They didn't need to worry about our 'Net blocker -- they simply ignored it on their way to the Internet Superhighway. I have said for years that we need to teach responsible use -- that banning electronic, hand-held devices in the classroom only sends the kids' use underground -- and we can't teach them there. How are schools going to regulate these devices -- and should they?

Till later,