My students use technology every day. I allow it all–cell phones, iPods, digital cameras, laptops–because that is what they will have to use when they leave high school and go to work. They must learn to use them correctly to strategically improve their work and to not interfere with their work. They cannot be using these gadgets while I am presenting material, but they can use them while they are doing independent work. They all pull their ear pieces out when I start talking or signal to them that I am going to speak. They pull their ear pieces out when their neighbor wants to collaborate. They go online immediately to find solutions to work-related issues. I have one student who was way ahead of me when I assigned a video. She had already started pulling together photos before I even finished speaking.
Schools do not always think this is the way to teach, but I believe we have to embrace the technology that the kids have and know how to use. Here’s an article that says more about it.
I am very fortunate to have a lot of technology at school. Most of it has been acquired through grants I have written. It takes a lot of work to write these grants and go to all the meetings that are often required for the funding. But, I do it because I want my students to have the best, and the school district is not going to just buy the classroom teacher what they want. Those dear Readers who work in education know of what I speak.
This year I wrote a grant to receive 14 mini laptops that my seniors have been using almost daily for their work. These little machines, though tiny, handle a myriad of tasks, one being able to hook up to a projector that I also purchased with grant money a few years ago. The projector also works with my MAC laptop, another piece of equipment purchased with a large grant.
I like to help other teachers on campus with their technology. I am certainly no expert, but I am willing to assist where I can, and in most cases, the questions are easy enough for me to handle. I get bogged down with some hardware issues, especially on the PC platform, but I can usually find a solution. (I am a MAC aficionado.) I am willing to share my knowledge.
So, now I have this quandary: do I let a teacher from across campus use my projector and mini computer for a guest presentation? The guest presenter asked the teacher to get the equipment from me as they had used the equipment IN my classroom. I would probably have to haul the equipment over and set it up, and it would be used during the same period I use the equipment therefore requiring me to make the trip the day before. I do not know how safe my equipment would be as the teacher shares the classroom. I would undoubtedly have to go retrieve said equipment.
I am torn because I do like to help people, but I have worked hard to get this equipment and I value it. Dear Reader, any suggestions?
One of my favorite blogs just posted this video, and I think most of us in the public school system would agree with it.
For more great videos from Mathew Needleman, go here: http://www.needleworkspictures.com/ocr/blog/