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I have been teaching for 3 years now, and during that time I have used technology in my lessons. But as a music teacher who teachers 5 different classes a day with my one prep in the middle of the day, there is no way for me to set up and check all 30 computers for for those classes unless no one else is in the lab all day. It kills me because I love technology and I'm even getting a masters in it, but as someone previously said, when you don't have your own equipment you are limited in the lessons you can teach.
A perfect example was a web site that I had created for my choir classes. It worked fine the night before when I stayed after school to set up, but during the next day the server was down and there went my beautiful flash website. Now I managed to direct the kids to another fun music website while I frantically googled alternative sites to cover the material, but if I had the time the period before I could have had a much more smooth and effective backup plan.
So back to my original point. If we had to share one set of pencils amongst 50 teachers in a school, I bet you that writing assignments would be limited if not completely avoided. So the same goes for computers and ipods and projectors.
So in conclusion ladies and gents, technology is GREAT and when the circumstances are right it can make even the oldest lessons feel fresh and new. But we need our own materials to make the most of learning experience.
The majority of my curriculum consists of lessons with embedded technology in a project-based learning environment. The older (10th, 11th grade) students have become resistant to technology even to the point of not bringing laptops (issued by the school) to class. Nor do they check e-mail - that teachers depend on to communicate with students and groups about assignments. Their reason? The school filters restrict their access to how they really want to use the computers so they don't see the point in having technology just to "do school work!" I'm not sure I will ever understand teenagers.
First, technology integration, by definition, should be integral to the content, not only a facilitation of learning.
Second, if our students are entering a world and a business environment defined by the use of technology, then we need to be using it daily.
Third, if our districts will not give us the tools, we need to find a way to get them. I teach at a small, poor, country district in Texas. Every teacher has a data projector. Each school has multiple computer labs. As media specialist, I'm doing all I can to put digital media in the hands of the teachers and I'm gradually helping them learn how to use it. The point is that we are finding a way to get technology in the hands of our students and teachers. You may have to go to businesses and recruit small contributions, seek out grants, even small ones, beg parent groups to help raise money--whatever it takes. We are educators and we have the power to do something to effect change. Do something!
I feel your pain! Our district is large for this area. Our elementary building alone has almost 800 students, and there are 11 elementary schools in the district. The problem we face when looking for grants, is that we don't have enough free and reduced lunch students. Don't get me wrong, I understand that in general, schools with a large percentage of free and reduced lunches score lower on standardized tests, etc. etc. etc. However, that doesn't mean that students in the other schools don't have special needs! As a result of these rules, since our school does not have a high percentage of free and reduced lunches, we receive nothing to help our students, while other schools have new computers (two to three) in every classroom, two or more e-mints classrooms, computer labs, etc. Our school is lucky to have two computers in each classroom from the current decade! Something needs to be done to help each school into the technology world as we are hurting the needs of our students.
I agree that many teachers are afraid that something will go wrong and do not want to deal with learning something new. What they do not understand is that if they would try new technology they would be amazed by how much easier it makes teaching. Not only does technology make teaching easier but it helps keep students engaged. I have learned many different concepts and lessons from an Intel training last year that helped create lessons to bring students to a new level of learning. This certification was over a couple of months but taught how to create brochures, web sites, and power points. These were just some of the wonderful ideas I received from this training. I strongly believe that if teachers would be willing to open up the idea of technology and learn how to use it they would be really impressed. It is sad that some teachers do not see the benefits of technology in the classroom. If anything maybe they should allow their students to help them understand how to use it. Many times I have taken advice from students and have allowed them to help fix problems when something has gone wrong.