I like using technology because it makes things easier, but only when it makes things easier. And in my limited experience, technology in the classroom doesn’t always make things easier.
I do like the projector thing that is similar to an overhead projector, but it’s just for regular paper. That makes sense. And smart boards might work OK. Some of the students were playing a timed matching game where they identified parts of the body in English. They had a BLAST. Our summer school smart board only works intermittently, but I’m not sure if that’s the teacher’s lack of experience with it or a problem with the board itself. I’ve never used one before, so I’m no help.
But a lot of times, it just seems like a lot of horsing around trotting down to the computer lab and trying to get everybody logged into the computer, then the school site, then the classroom site, and I don’t have a login because I’m new, and I don’t remember my login, and my computer doesn’t work, and those two over there are too busy taking selfies, and the teacher didn’t name the file correctly and no one can find it. And it just seems like sometimes it would be quicker to give everyone a worksheet.
And then there was the day when one of the classrooms had a missing iPad. I don’t know the outcome of that. I do know that security was called in to search backpacks. We used MacBook Airs in summer school, and I collected them as the students left. I ended up with the same number I started with, but with all the chaos of 30+ leaving, it would not have been hard for someone to sneak by me.
When the iPad incident happened, one of the other teachers said, “Just give me the books.” And I’m inclined to agree, to my surprise. Because I want these students to get technology experience. But I’m not sure that they’re learning anything useful, except how to use Google Translate to cheat. Once they get to more advanced levels, they do PowerPoints and so forth. I guess that’s helpful, although I’m not sure the world needs more PowerPoints.
I just feel like technology in schools gets an automatic thumbs-up, and there’s just so much room for improvement. It’s just a lot of money out of a limited budget, and I want to know that the kids are getting the most out of it. I want to use it in my own classroom someday, but I just hope it’s the best choice for the students.