Overhwelmed by technology expectations

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by DrivingPigeon, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Apr 2, 2013

    My district is always trying to be the "up and comer" for everything, especially technology. They have a plan for all students in the district to have one to one devices within the next 8 years or so through a "Digital Transformation."

    I hear about the great things that teachers are doing with technology, and I have 4 main problems with it:
    1) There is SO MUCH out there that it is completely overwhelming.
    2) Is technology always the better way to do things? For example, one teacher has students read independently during guided reading, and type conversations into Cover It Live. What's wrong with having discussions about books face to face? :( I feel like the "old-fashioned" way of doing things is just as good in some cases.
    3) Younger children seem to need much more assistance with using technology.
    4) Many teachers are extending the learning into the home through technology, but 5 of my 20 students don't even have access to the internet.

    Yesterday my class went into the computer lab to work on their Wixie projects (an online publishing tool), and it took them 35 MINUTES to log into the site and pull their projects up. It turns out that the district has used all of their bandwidth, because the high school is letting students bring devices from home, trying to be one to one. So. Darn. Frustrating!!!

    I'm just feeling really overhwhelmed after a meeting this morning. :( There are so many great resources out there that I would love to explore, but I really struggle with the question "Is this really better for my students than what we're doing now?"
     
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  3. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Apr 2, 2013

    I understand you. I am quite 'tech savvy', but there are times when I choose not to use it. I moved to a grade level that is all about technology, and sometimes I get annoyed with it.
    I do incorporate it daily, and here is how:
    • I have three computers in my classroom. I have a 'computer rotation schedule' so that everyone has a day of the week where they can get on if they have all their work done. I usually only allow them to do Ten Marks Math, but sometimes I am nicer ;)
    • They all take their spelling test on Spelling City. SOOOO much easier for me!!
    • I use Daily 5, and I also have a computer choice, and an iPad choice. With the computer, we have a subscription to Big Universe, which is a bunch of eBooks. So it is really 'listen to reading', but on the computer. I have one iPad, so there is usually an app of the week. Sometimes it is a grammar game, sometimes it is as simple as to record themselves reading.
    • We use the ActivBoard every single day.

    Now, we also get the laptop cart or go to the lab for special projects. We do this at least once a week, every week. (We do not have a computer 'special'.)
     
  4. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Apr 2, 2013

    That sounds very similar to what I am doing, which is still "not enough." :unsure:

    -I use my smartboard for everything.
    -I have 9 laptops in my classroom, which I use daily for Xtra Math and Listen to reading (students choose from Trueflix, Bookflix, Big Universe, and Tumblebooks).
    -We go to the lab 3 times a week for Spelling City and Moby Math.
    -We do additional projects in the computer lab for writer's workshop, social studies, and science.

    I emailed my Technology Integration Specialist today, and we're going to meet next month to discuss possible technology integration ideas for next year.
     
  5. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Apr 2, 2013

    I think there needs to be a balance, at all grade levels. I am a self-professed techno-geek, but students still need to learn to converse, to handle an actual book (including using a bookmark and finding pages), how to write legibly, and how to communicate effectively, in hand-written, verbal, and type-written forms. It's so hard, because we can't control what they have access to at home - I also have kiddos with no home access (but they wear Nikes and "eat at the boats (casinos) regularly, go figure). Also, "my" parents run the gamut from those who diligently oversee home learning and daily reading to those who are so busy working multiple jobs that they have no time to do so, to those who (actually) are incapable of helping their kiddos, to (literally) those who just don't care. If you find the magic bullet, please let me know!
     
  6. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Apr 2, 2013

    Without having 1:1 laptops, I'm not sure how you can do much more!
     
  7. KirstieMI

    KirstieMI Rookie

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    Apr 3, 2013

    DrivingPigeon, I definitely feel you. Our district has recently started putting a LOT more emphasis than they used to on technology-based learning and assessment, and it's becoming quite difficult for us, especially my building, as we do /not/ have the technology necessary for it! (We have 3 smart board in the whole building and 3 laptop carts... most of us still use transparencies and overhead projectors if that's any indication.)

    We are making moves towards blended learning with online Techbooks and Dreambox learning tools, which I'm sure would be wonderful if we had the resources for them! It's a frustration, but we share the computer lab and do what we can. I do think the kids are engaged when it comes to technology, but I wish that more of it were provided with the new expectations.

    I have discovered though, that the kids are pretty quick learners when it comes to new technology! In our building, the kindergarten classes now use iPads in their daily station time, and WOW are they quick with them! They know how to insert passwords, do searches, and look up apps with incredible ease for a 5 year-old! So I think if there is frustration attached to technology taking time because students are unfamiliar, then just hang in for a little bit because they'll get it.

    Now things taking a long time because all the bandwidth is taken up and it takes 10 minutes to load a webpage? That's a problem almost without a solution. :/
     
  8. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Apr 3, 2013

    You kind of alluded to it later, but left off #5) You CAN'T depend on it!!
     

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