How Much Does Your School Use Its Technology Pool?: Chances Are, Not Enough | Edutopia
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How Much Does Your School Use Its Technology Pool?: Chances Are, Not Enough

Jim Moulton

Technology Integration and Project-Based Learning Consultant

It is summer, and I am trying to get back to Maine from a conference in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, storms have caused Atlanta's airport to shut down for an hour or so at just the right time to mess up my travel. Ah, well, it is summer, and this is the southeastern United States. Such things happen.

As we circled Atlanta before heading over to Columbus, Georgia, to refuel, I looked down at the houses, highways, and farmlands and noticed one feature of the suburban neighborhoods we were flying over: swimming pools. Behind so many big, brick houses, there were swimming pools, and each looked blue, cool, and inviting.

But I suddenly realized they were all empty. Each one. I said to myself, "Hold it, Jim. Have you ever seen anyone in a swimming pool in any of these neighborhoods you've flown over?" I had to admit I had never seen a single person in a backyard swimming pool -- and I fly a lot.

Conversely, there are pools like the one at the hotel I'm staying at right now as I wait to restart my travel tomorrow. This pool is jammed with what looks like an extended family enjoying a reunion. There are kids and adults playing, talking, jumping, splashing, dunking, floating, throwing balls, and relaxing in deck chairs. They are having a blast and using the dickens out of that pool. What a difference from those beautiful show pools I see in relatively affluent backyards across the United States.

This observation prompted me to compare the use of technology in schools to these swimming pools. Some schools acquire and use technology because of a strong desire to further the knowledge and skills of its students. But if a school implements new technology simply to follow suit with neighboring schools, there is a good chance the technology will be underused like the pools I saw from the air earlier today.

So, here are some questions for you: How much does your school use its technology? Is it in demand like the pool at my hotel -- perhaps even insufficient to meet that demand? Are things just right, with plenty of technology available and widely used across all curriculum areas by students and teachers to support teaching and learning? Or is it like the swimming pools I see in those backyards -- unused because of scheduling challenges, curricular rigidity, or other school-specific issues?

Hey, the water's great. Jump in and let me know what the technology pool is like at your school.

Jim Moulton

Technology Integration and Project-Based Learning Consultant

Comments (62)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Jarred Gettes's picture

In my opinion, my school has plenty of technology for the students that go here. We have a library full of computers and two other computer labs for all of us to use to our advantage. Also, our teachers do a fantastic job implimenting computer technology into our projects, homework, ect. Another great thing is that my school provides computer classes sch as computer apps and jave which I am proud to be a part of.

Michael Haldis's picture

I feel like my school uses technology just right. Our computer labs are open to everyone, during and after school. Most of my classes incorportate computers into part of starting and finishing projects and homework. I use a computer everyday in JAVA class which takes full advantage of what technology is available to me. I constantly see teachers and other students using computers throughout school during their free periods.

MattMicko's picture

At my school, computers are used on an everyday basis, wether it is bu the teacher, students, or both. We use computers to do things like, type up project, make programs, do powerpoint presentations, and to many other various things. I feel that the computers can be intergrated more in the class room. Though it is hard to find a computer at school at times, the only thing they are used for is typing. Computers are not used in everyday teaching, IN the classroom. In subjects like physics though the power of these computers are fully utilized, but in a subject like math, I feel there could be more done with it. Over all my school is like the pool frequently used, and crowded.

ZachBirnski's picture
I'm a guy.

I am a junior in an urban high school, and I feel as though we are bathed in new age technology daily, but the problem is that not many of our mentors are aware of using the technology to its fullest potential. The technology is present in my school, but it is not in very much use. Electronic whiteboards, ceiling-hanging projectors, and new computers: all state-of-the-art, but so rarely used by the teachers. Only a fraction of the school workforce can utilize these new machines, and honestly, I believe the students could teach the faculty a thing or two about the uncommon but practical uses of the everyday computer. Sadly, I see technology in my school like the empty swimming pools in the suburban neighborhoods, "unused and wasted."
- Zachary Birney

Ryan DiMarino's picture

At my school, I believe that there is enough technology, but it is underused. There is plenty available to teachers and students, but some teachers choose not to use it, whether it be because of inability or preference. If the problem is inability, they should be trained to know how to use it. Having something so beneficial and not utilizing it is foolish.

I like the use of computers for entire classes such as JAVA or Computer Applications. I feel that they prepare us for the technological advance that we're experiencing and are crucial for the future.

Ryan Cassedy's picture

My school, Father Judge High School, uses the available technology fairly often. But the problem is that there is not much technology on offer here at Judge. The computers are so often broken or in such bad shape that they are unusable that a well working computer is all ways in high demand. Things like projectors are not used that often in most class with some exceptions and the schools old televisions are highly outdated but used everyday. There are not enough working computers to satisfy the demand by students.

Fran Mackin's picture

i feel that the technology is our school is used very well. we have two computer labs and one library with computers and almost everyclass you will find studentson the computers for classwork or projects. we also have smart boards that the teachers who know how to use them put to good use. in my chemistry class we were able to use it and it helped me understand by seeing it written out on the board along with the notes. overall i think we use our technoogy well. it can probably do alittle bit more with it then we do but i think that we use it better then most schools!

Andrew Damiano's picture

I think my school does not fully utilize the technology that we have. Many of the compters in our school are outdated or just don't work. There have been many times where I have had to move from computer to computer trying to find one that will work for me. I think that the school should invest more money in updating computers and our computer network to make things easier for the students.

Jonathan Rodriguez's picture

In my school we use a lot of technology in classes such as physics but not so much in other classes. The extent of our computer use in a class is for the purpose of typing a paper and sending it to the teacher or when the teachers uses it for powerpoints. I agree with some of the previous statements, some said that there has to be a balance. Technology is good when it is used to support our learning experiences but not to be abused so that we learn nothing. Internet is a good way to learn about the world, but there are also people who refuse to add and subtract simple numbers because the calculator is easier to use. No one carries around a calculator to the store or where ever else they go and I really think that, again, it is about the balance and to what extent the technology is being used.

BOJoeKO1122's picture

The use of technology at our school is no where related to the pools mentioned in this article. Mostly every sort of technolgy we use at our school is used everyday and is never under-used because of the many classes offered that make use of these technoloigcal objects. FRom computer classes, to copying notes from a projector, to the daily televison show, our school's technolgy isn't the best, but we make very good use of it and try our best to improve it. Many of these households probably only bought pools because they had money, or it was because of a reoccuring theme in the nieghborhood; I don't think that its related to technolgy at all. We have technolgy at our school not because every other school in the area has them; we need them to increase the education of students and teachers. However, as time goes on, newer forms of technolgy and different types of classes will be offered at every school, which could cause the school to improve the technology to be up to date. As for right now, the technolgy we use is just fine for getting all the work that we need to get completed. Technolgy will soon be playing a huge part of the school's activites; we just have to prepared for whatever comes our way.

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