Put technology where it can be best used… In the classroom!

After reading this article on why textbooks have not taken off in digital format as much as was projected, one line stuck out in my mind. It was this: “We have a lot of technology in our schools, but most is not in the classroom, where students are every day.” What a sad statement… but all too true, I’m afraid. I am struck every year as I teach my own preservice students about the fantastic opportunities and tools that technology and the Internet afford – that there is a digital divide within the school walls, not just out in the communities where students live. I am talking about the divide between what we show and teach as best practice when teaching and integrating technologies into the classroom context – and the reality that faces many of our beginning teachers when they actually get out into their own school and classroom – Filters, highly scheduled labs, few labs, poor tech support, aging computers, technology coordinator gods who feel that it is their job to “control” what teachers do with technology and in the end, limit their opportunities with red tape, slow reaction time, ‘it can’t be done’ mentality, few computers in the classroom… And this is not an exhaustive list by any means.

Now, I don’t want to come across as the pessimist here. I approach all of these opportunities with a high degree of optimism. But, this statement is just too true… that the very place technology needs to be – in the classroom – is often locked in rooms down the hall, locked to rolling carts, invested in district-wide infrastructure,… The ubiquity of technology in society is not often evident when students enter their classrooms. Some schools are more fortunate, of course. Many are not. We don’t require teachers to go down the hall to use textbooks in the ‘textbook lab’. Until we commonly see 1:1 computing in the classroom, I think our new teacher graduates will continue to experience this disparity and feel the frustration of unrealized learning potential.

Explore posts in the same categories: Change, classroom, integration, teacher education, teaching

3 Comments on “Put technology where it can be best used… In the classroom!”

  1. Tracy Rosen Says:

    Oh, I agree. I am starting to think that because many teachers and administrators still do not know exactly what we can do with technology there is a reluctance to put it in the classroom.

    Example – today the Internet had, for some reason, stopped working in the west wing of our school. I was at the computer lab with one other teacher. She packed her kids up and went back because she only books the computer lab for the last period of the day so that her kids can ‘play on the internet’.

    For her, technology has nothing to do with learning, it is a form of entertainment. I stayed with my kids and used the time to work on our Science vocabulary while teaching them how to hyperlink in presentations.

    For some reason, this teacher has not caught on yet that technology can be much more. I can understand the frustration of new teachers, but until the more experienced teachers and administrators at schools begin to use technology as a learning tool, really use it, and demand that good forms of it be available in the schools, it isn’t going to happen.

    I can also understand the frustration of not so new teachers who are expected to use technology but who aren’t really given the time to grow less afraid of it and to experiment with what can be done. and while there are still administrators who are technophobes…well…they aren’t going to have to step up to the plate and seek out guidance.

    Rant over, time for dinner 🙂
    thanks for another great post!
    ps – my blog has moved to a new address and a new design – come check it out!

  2. […] Posted on September 25, 2007 by Tracy Rosen [cross ranted as a comment at Stephen Ransom’s EdTechTrek] [and slightly […]

  3. […] ranted as a comment at Stephen Ransom’s EdTechTrek] [and slightly […]

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