Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Technology in the Classroom

As a teacher in Moss Point, MS I am very fortunate that we have an extremely large amount of technology in our classrooms. With Promethean Active Boards, Active Votes, Computer Labs, and even computer-based classrooms. We have many computer based programs to help our students learn, such as a Web based program called Achieve3000, that helps our students reading levels. We have access to education video and webstreaming through Unitedstreaming. We can communicate with our students online through a secure system called Moodle. This allows us to offer assignments, get them used to blogging, catch up on missed work, and even podcast. Needless to say that we have a huge amount of technology on our hands. So what's the problem, why are we not one of the top ranked schools in our state? I'll tell you why, technology is scary and new and there are many teachers that prefer the safe and traditional.

All to often I hear "why can't they just sit and read a book?" This usually comes from teachers who have been in the biz for a long time. Why can't they sit and read a book....? Because their world comes at them at 90 miles and hour all day long, except when they are in school. Education in America is competing with IPods, Wiis, cell phones, MySpace, and any number of the hundreds of technological devices out there. To many of the students merely reading a book because they are told to isn't going to hold thier interest for longer than 2 minutes. They don't get any feed back, and if left to thier own devices will fall asleep. Do you like doing anything that's boring? Well neither do they, and they are kids. They don't have the self discipline we do, they won't do it just because we say so. Sould they? Yes. Will they? No.

So what is the education system in America to do? Catch up. Their world is not the one we grew up in. And here's the kicker, it's changing faster every day. We MUST incorporate technology in our schools whenever possible. We provide our students a disservice when we lack in technology, or more importantly, lack in the USE of technology.

It is time for the Old Guard to realize the world they knew and taught in for 10, 15, 20 years is gone. It is not coming back. It is moving forward at lightning speed. It is time to embrace the future of our students and embrace technology in the classroom. Like I stated in the beginning, my school has tons of technology at its disposal. In that aspect we are more fortunate than most. On the other hand, it doesn't do teachers or students any good if it is not being used.

I bet they'll read that book if you put it on a computer screen.