The Educator's PLN

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Recently I have been placed in a high school for observation through a teacher education course at my university. Before the high school placement, I was observing a middle school classroom in the same county. During my time at the middle school, I enjoyed seeing how my mentor teacher would use the technology that she had available to assist her students in learning. For example, she used her Smart Board, everyday in class to provide students with pictures about her lecture and the key points, through the use of Power Point. I know that using Power Point on a smart board is not considered a Web 2.0 tool, however she was at least utilizing the technology devices in her classroom.

As I have traveled now to the high school, I was expecting to see more technology use. Well...I was wrong. Now after about eight hours of observing I have yet to see any technology use and using technology has not even been mentioned. For example, the teacher has a Smart Board, just sitting at the front of the room which has never been used!! Another example is the use of extra credit in his classroom. After providing the option for doing extra credit, kids could make a poster board about a topic or build a model (airplanes, tanks, etc.) for the assignment, I thought why not throw in creating web inquiries for student use in the mix.I could not help but compare these two recent examples I have had with the idea that many veteran teachers, are just stuck in their ways, and will not grasp onto the technology wave sweeping through education.

In regards to these two instances, I know there are many factors to weigh in the reason behind the lack of technology, such as sufficient school funds. However to this point, there are a million different resources that students and teachers can use that have FREE access. Also, another factor is the accessbility in the schools of computers and internet.After talking with my mentor teacher in the middle school, she voiced that she would like to allow student more technology time in the classroom, but there are only so many computers in the library that the whole school can use, therefore the problem of access. However, when she is able to snag this computer time, she uses it as an incentive for students, after a week fo good behavior.

Maybe it is because I am in a technology currently, or because of my age of growing up in an age with more technology than veteran teachers, but I do not think these are excuses for veteran teachers to not seek new ways of teaching in their classroom. Even more so, after years of teaching a change in pace would be good for all, so why not invest some time in learning more technology skills since teachers must know that thier kids will be pros at tech. skills.

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Comment by Marisa Constantinides on March 25, 2010 at 4:59am
Ah! What a good question!

Just because we talk to a small group of people who are very much interested in integrating technology into their teaching or training of educators, it does not mean that the attitudes toward this are positive!!!

Changes must indeed be made at leadership level, I agree with David. And at the level of educating the leaders, I should add!

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