Random Thoughts About Technology in the Classroom

After reading many other blog posts, and watching the latest session I have lots on my mind! Technology is fascinating and terrifying all at the same time. I am incredibly excited and inspired to use the things I have learnt with students! I am beyond excited about the mentorship project, I am thrilled to have heard about all the incredible teachers and have expanded my network. However, after all the excitement I have a few concerns about incorporating technology into my future classroom.

In my internship, it took longer for the students to get logged on to the computers than the time they ended up getting to actually use them! We almost always had issues with passwords not working, or computers not working. In our school we also had to share the laptops with the other classrooms, and often we could not get them when we wanted them. Furthermore, how often do you have a whole lesson planned out and ready, that incorporates technology, and then technology fails you? Our session on Monday night is a good example of this! The session was still very informative and interesting, but when those sort of malfunctions happen in an elementary school classroom, your lesson is lost. This happened to me at least twice during my internship!

Another concept that doesn’t worry me so much, but that I have been thinking a lot about is:  B.Y.O.D! Although I hope to be teaching younger students and they do not (usually) have cell phones, most of my grade 3’s had their own iPods! I think that if students have these technologies in their pockets, its an engaging and practical way for them to learn. However, I think this may cause issues, such as.. what if the teacher asks everyone to pull out their devices, and a student does not have one? Now, I realize there are many alternatives such as sharing with a partner, etc. I just feel that a student without, may feel inferior or insecure when everyone else pulls theres out. Also, I feel that it would be hard to monitor what students are actually doing on these devices. We hope and assume they are doing what is asked of them, but how many of us (even as future teachers) spend class time on Facebook, Pinterest, or online shopping during class because with our laptops in front of us, the prof does not know the difference? How can we expect students to not be tempted to do the same?

Feel free to add your own thoughts and comments!

Have a happy Monday.

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5 thoughts on “Random Thoughts About Technology in the Classroom

  1. I have the same concerns as you do regarding the sense of inferiority some students may experience and the ability to monitor activity. As educators we want to trust that our students will comply with the rules regarding gadgets, but in reality… Can we really assume this will happen? I’m interested to see the comments on this topic.

  2. I agree with your concerns. There were a few times during internship that I assumed students were using phones for classroom activity, but on closer inspection, they were texting. It wasn’t awesome, but it wasn’t the end of the world either. A reminder to get back on task was all it took, and I think in the end it’s a small price to pay for student engagement.

  3. I hope this class provides with a few goto ideas to use with your students. But also remember you don’t need to know it all. You won’t. You’ll pick a few things you know work and make a difference in learning. Some of you will be in situations where you’re encouraged to try new things and be given the resources to do so. Others won’t. This diversity in culture and opportunity continues to increase the digital divide. It’s only going to get bigger. Hopefully you’ll be ready if you’re in more positive situation but also be able to utilized it to its fullest even in a less progressive situation.

    With regards to BYOD, I helped a teacher 6 years ago to use mobile phones in her classroom. The best part of the project was working with her students to develop protocol about use. THere were almost no issues. When it comes to trusting and building trust, we have to include students in the conversation. That’s not just for technology obviously. If it’s “us vs them” BYOD is doomed.

  4. Thanks for all of your comments! I agree with all of you. Trust and mutual respect are two of the most important aspects of a positive classroom environment. In order for something like BYOD to work we need to trust our students.. Even when they do slip up sometimes! We all do! I hope to be able to use technology in a positive and engaging way..and this class has already given me lots of wonderful ideas and I’m excited to learn more! Thanks for your insight!

  5. Really good points about technology in schools! I also know what its like to have technology fail you when your expecting to have it work! Great points about the use of devices like cell phones. I share your thoughts on this matter as well.

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