Where is Technology?

Technology is everywhere yet at the same time its hard to find. My students are continually on their cell phones in class and sometimes it can be a battle to get their attention. And yet media and technology is so useful that I wish I had more of it. My cooperating teacher used to have about six desktop computers in his classroom but they were removed in anticipation of Union High School becoming a 1-to-1 school in the next couple of years. You would think that they would not remove the highly prized connection to the outside world until they established a new one. However that was not the case, so instead we have to reserve one of four chrome book carts that is supposed to serve 2,000 students.

As you can see its sometimes difficult to integrate interactive technology into the classroom for my students. Every classroom has a desktop monitor that hooks up to each teacher’s Microsoft Surface Pro. Every classroom has a projector and a document camera but that’s where the technology ends. Meaning that I can show my students a PowerPoint and use the document camera to go through assignments and worksheets. However getting my students to be active with technology is sadly a challenge, unless its on their own smartphones.

Technology literacy would have at one point in the past seemed absurd. However now it is expected and valued. I know my way around the basics of a computer and many different operating systems. But I do not consider myself technology literate in a classroom setting. To me you have to go beyond using PowerPoints, and showing Bozeman Science Videos to be consider a technologically literate teacher. What about flipped classrooms using technology, or Google Classroom? What about Edpuzzle and kahoot, plus so much more?

I feel that I have been stymied in being able to become technology literate in my classroom by two separate things. My lack of knowledge and in some cases determination to learn what I do not understand. But the larger issue is the demographics of my school. Almost every teenager now has a smartphone, but I cannot always assume that. I know that some of my students do not. And since we do not have enough chrome books to go around I am somewhat limited in technology. I cannot do kahoot unless I group the kids up. I cannot practice a flipped classroom  if I know that not every child has access to technology at home.

I feel that these are the things that set me back. However, I also feel that I just need to get more creative. I am sure there are more ways to try and integrate technology into the classroom and I just have not discovered them yet. I hope that through this course I can discover new methods of technology integration into my classroom, in a way that is interactive for the students and promotes their learning.


5 Replies to “Where is Technology?”

  1. Great post! I definitely agree that later generations (for some reason) are emerging more technically literate and at a younger age than we did. Perhaps it is due to the fact that they are being exposed to technology much sooner than we were? Heck, I remember hoping my parents weren’t home before I used the computer to go on the Internet because dial-up was so loud.
    I also definitely agree that, with some practice and open-minded…ness(?), newer and more creative ways of integrating edTech will be revealed to all of use, and this class is definitely a perfect stepping stone. I hope we’ll all find what we’re looking for when it comes to integrating the technology that seems to constantly improve from one generation to the next.

  2. That sounds like a challenge to be able to develop computer literacy into your classroom but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible! Although I don’t necessarily feel the same as you in terms of my own ability with technology, I completely understand why and how it is so challenging to learn and work with. I have experienced first hand the areas of confusion for my mom’s profession has completely changed now to a paperless system and everything that she was taught in school for documentation and charting patients has changed entirely.

    I hope I am not over assuming when I say that the toughest part of using tech is figuring out what things do and where those options are. I find that of my peers who grew up with limited technology, their biggest challenge is overcoming the fear that you will loose all your work or that one click can completely ruin your project.

    The symbols and tools that many programs have require us to basically learn a new language and since there is not always a lot over overlap in terms of interface overcomming thoese fears and frusterations can seem almost impossible. That being said I am sure we will all be able to feel a little more at ease with tech in our classrooms (hopefully) by the end of this term!

    1. I remember when I used to carry a big “Daytimer” planner. I was hesitating switching an electronic Palm Pilot our of fear I’d lose the info. Then I lost my Daytimer. I immediately went to the Palm (with daily backup)

  3. I hear your frustration. Lots of smartphones, but not every kid has one. Lots of way to present to students, but few school devices to engage student so that every student has a common platform to work on.

  4. The end of your post really got me thinking about what is really holding some of us back when it comes to technology in the classroom. I think we all could have the potential to be creative with technology in the classroom and have the motivation to find new tools, but only if the resources are available. We keep saying technology is everywhere, but really, it seems so many of use our lacking the resources in our schools. Not only in our schools, but for many students at home. If technology really were an accessible resource, I think we would all have much more motivation to use interactive and beneficial tools for our students.

    I can definitely relate to your first sentence about the distraction phones currently have in our classroom. I think it also can apply to all sources of technology. Even when I let my students use a computer, it’s an automatic distraction no matter what activity we do. My hope is that as we continue to integrate technology into our classrooms, students won’t solely see technology as social media access and a distraction, but that they can see how beneficial it can be to their curriculum. There is a lot of potential we can uncover, and as we continue exposing students to using technology for learning, maybe they will see it as a tool, not a source of distraction.

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