I would use technology, or more technology, in the classroom if . . .

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Music Man (not verified)

Technology requires time....

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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.

science teacher (not verified)

embedded technology

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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.

David Phillips (not verified)

Do something!

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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!

Sherry Harrington (not verified)

Technology in the Classroom

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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.

Amy P (not verified)

I agree that many teachers

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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.

Amy P (not verified)

I agree that many teachers

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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.

Marva Richards (not verified)

I'm still trying to find a

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I'm still trying to find a way to get both my students and their parents to post comments on the brand new blog I created this semester for reflecting on the learning they are doing in our out-of school-science enrichment program. The blog contains lessons, questions, assignments, and is chock full of information and relevant resources. The parents who have visited have praised and thanked me profusely for this "new resource". I have promised them the following: Here is an opportunity to learn how to do scholarly searches (not Googling). Here is an opportunity to publish their work to the world (not to one teacher who may award a grade but never have the time to help them critically analyse their writing). Why are they then not using it to respond to and expand the curriculum through collaboration and discourse? We are a program that advocates strongly for parent involvement in their children's education! We are a program that touts student activism in education -that is to say- to have a say in what they learn and how they learn it. Yet, the blog is whisper quiet. These are students who have been plied with the latest gadgets by their parents (cell phones, ipods, PS IIs). They use these social and entertainment gadgets even in the classroom (one has to remind them to "tune out" of the music and "tune in" to the class activity.) But when it's time to use technology for learning and meta-learning, the idea is met with an icy cool reception. I am seeing many digital divides here. There is the digital divide between students who own technology and parents who merely fund it, but never master it themselves. There is a digital divide between me the educator who sees so much potential for new ways of learning and the students who refuse to stretch beyond the limits of 20th century learning methods. One divide I am yet to see is of students who do NOT have access to technology. Marva R New York
Donna Montgomery (not verified)

I am an elementary school

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I am an elementary school principal. I write a weekly newsletter to parents. I am wondering if I could reprint "What Does 'THe World is Flat' Mean for Education" 10/17/06. I thought it was an excellent summary of the importance "learning to learn". I recommended the book last year and will do it again this year. This article might inspire people to read it as well.
R. H. Richardson (not verified)

We need interactive

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We need interactive technology where students and teacher can interact in real time. This means much more than connections. It requires multiple non-keyboard modes that are quick, flexible, transmittable. Suppose we have an image/audiio-video from a field trip (or on the way to class) to share and discuss. It needs to be addressable with a pen, colored "ink", and ideally, audio. Think of a biology class where I may have seen a behavior of relevance on the walk earlier in the day. I could show it, mark on it and have students ask questions or make additional comments while in class. This isn't equivalent to a field trip or outdoor project, but it gives a way to use more senses, stimulate curiosity outside of class, and also have a record for future observations to build on. The more senses involved, the better the example. Pocket cameras with limited video create important new options. Now, if we had the other senses, like touch and smell, we might really get somewhere ... virtually.
Matt (not verified)

Even though I use technology

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Even though I use technology quite frequently in instruction, the biggest obstacle that I see facing technology integration right now is school policy. I'm right now working in a rural school district that constantly bans material that individual teachers catch students working/interacting/viewing. For example, last week the district decided to restrict Google video because one student saw an inappropriate web video. And yet, research coming out in the past two weeks suggests games and videos are valuable tools to help facilitate learning with our kids. So, when we read comments that the real digital divide these days are more about addressing education and entertainment resonates in the educational realm - especially with administrators who simply have blinders on what learning is and maintain that what was good 30-40 years ago is still good enough today.
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