Are we lost without technology?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by swansong1, Aug 20, 2016.

  1. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    A couple of recent threads had me wondering...it seems that teachers now expect their class to run on technology and don't know what to do if their technology malfunctions or they don't have any in their room.

    Since I've been teaching since the dinosaur age, I know how to teach using a chalk board or a whiteboard, and I know how to teach using technology.

    Are colleges now turning out teachers who can't find a way to teach if they don't have all the bells and whistles? And are our children being shorted if teachers rely solely on technology (as nice as it is) to teach?
     
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  3. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Speaking as someone who graduated in 2014 and then got my first classroom in AZ, I can honestly say I was gobsmacked :eek: when I walked into the room and there was nothing but a document camera that our secretary said "was like a Smartboard." HAHA How? I will say that my college had this very egocentric view of education, pushed technology integration into the classes and our lessons, and just assumed that the world was NY in that every classroom has well "connected" schools, which isn't always the case. Because they never stopped to teach us what to do when you don't have access to it. I will say -- with exceptions-- that a lot of the young teachers really do expect classrooms to have Smartboards, Ipads, laptops, etc. I got really good at using what I had, but also can teach using "old school" methods too so I'm pretty versatile. When I try to explain that to Districts, though, they just look at me like I have five heads. They don't understand what it means to teach in a technology waste land either. o_O I visited my friend's classroom and we chatted with one of the teachers who told us how some of the classes are going to 1:1, they just updated her computer, and they got bought the new NY edition of Mymath. I just scoffed. It was fantastic, but seriously... our schools in AZ spent like nothing on education and we were seriously lacking. But a good teacher is flexible, creative and makes it work.
    That said: when tech is available, use it. And older teachers need to "connect" and learn how to effectively teach it to the students, because it's the 21st century.

    :) :thumbs:
     
  4. horned_Frog89

    horned_Frog89 Companion

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    I'm going to assume this was is response to the thread I started. I have no problem using my whiteboard to teach. I do it all the time. I think lots of people are capable of that.

    But in the age we are in, a lot of teachers are under pressure to utilize technology in the classroom - from parents, admin, fellow teachers and students.

    We go to all of these trainings and PDs and are shown how to make are lessons more engaging, effective. thorough and fun for students and guess what they all use - technology!!

    In my district, it is the expectation that we use those interactive notebooks with fancy foldables and creative notes. It's so hard to build those on a whiteboard! They give us lesson ideas with kahoot, jeopardy games, and whatnot.

    So yes, I can teach my students with the 6 expo markers I was given, and try to stay within my small paper budget. Or, I can try to find ways to use the technology I do have to save those markers and paper for when my kids will really need it.
     
  5. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    My Smartboard has flaked out on me a bit this past school year and I've just gone and done plan b. I'm quick on my feet to think so it hasn't been a problem. I graduated in 2007 so I was at the end of the before smartboard existed era, so my dry erase easel can get used if needed for lessons. Of course I prefer my doc cam and smartboard but if forced I could def teach without.
     
  6. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    I might as well be teaching without tech right now because I don't have an adaptor for my macbook to the smartboard... so I stick anchor charts on it. :laughing:
    I agree that there needs to be an ability to teach without tech, because sometimes it just doesn't work and if your whole plan for the day depends on technology and you don't know how to make do without, good luck. I love using technology but I'm not dependent on it for my lessons because it fails, I can't get something connected, or it's just in a weird location in my room (the other issue with my smart board and doc camera). But I also agree that there is an expectation for technology to be used because it's the 21st century and that's just the world kids live in now. They're surrounded by it all the time and if school is supposed to prepare them for real life, they also need to be exposed to technology in a way that's educational (because otherwise it's just turning their brains to mush).
     
  7. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Though I am very tech-savvy, part of being a tech-savvy teacher is knowing how to fix tech issues when they arise, and if all else fails, what to do when tech is not usable or the best option. Tech is just another tool to use and doesn't have the be the main thing.

    I will say however, I prefer to use digital versions of things purely because it's easier for me to store things in digital format, and have access to it from everywhere. But I've taught at schools were tech is very flaky, so I've learned how to break out the textbooks or the whiteboard if needed (though my handwriting is horrible), or just have kids work on some unplugged activity.
     
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  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I teach in a highly wired district but yes, I can and do teach (with and) without tech support. Technology is a TOOL. it's not a replacement for good teaching whether old school or 'new fangled'.
     
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  9. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Exactly. Simply showing a fancy power point and saying "My kids learned" means nothing. HAHA
     
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  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    That's true of old school as well. Just because one 'covers' something doesn't mean meaningful understanding occurred

    I have issues with those who state they "can't teach" if tech is down or there's no SB, etc.
     
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  11. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I'm old school and can definitely teach without technology. I love using my document camera and powerpoints, though!

    We lost power a few years ago, for about two hours. I was teaching atomic structure. I simply walked to the whiteboard closest to the window, had the kids bring their notebooks and sit close to me. I used white poster board to reflect the window's light onto the whiteboard and I taught at the board like my teachers taught me eons ago. Turns out I was the ONLY teacher that taught during that time. In the whole school. Pretty darn sad.
     
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  12. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I think many educators might be!

    Speaking for my own school, I find myself terribly behind on the technology they push there and I certainly don't consider myself a Luddite in the classroom. I daresay there is a faction in education who are all for a fully technological classroom experience. We are urged to often use the iPads and Chromebooks, urged to use the internet, urged to make it the computer lab, urged to use apps for the whole class to teach, urged to make PowerPoints... and this is in 2nd grade. I'm not entirely criticizing it, but it does make one wonder.

    Technology wasn't a huge part of my college experience and I frankly feel quite confident teaching without technology. But it's not the movement I see.
     
  13. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I heavily rely on my smartboard which I use as a projector more than anything. If I had an overhead projector, I wouldn't be so upset when my smartboard goes out.

    The other main issue I have is when I plan to do a webquest one day and the internet goes out. I don't use the internet every day, I don't have students use laptops every day, but when I specifically plan for one day and the internet is out or the laptops don't load, it is frustrating.

    I taught abroad for three years without any technology. We didn't have anything in our classrooms more complex than a white board, I even had to bring in my own laptop. I did what I had to do, but I certainly appreciate having a projector, doc camera and wifi!
     
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  14. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I can go either way. I graduated from my credential program in December 2011. My program talked a lot about tech, but the schools I student taught in didn't have much. My current school has quite a bit. I love using it with the kids, but sometimes we use paper, whiteboards and sticky notes. Sometimes my kids will make posters or skits and sometimes they'll make Google slides presentations or videos. I try to use a little of everything, because I think both low and high tech approaches are important.
     
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  15. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'm one of the oldest teachers on staff (actually, with some recent retirements, I may be the oldest!), and I'm one of the teachers who uses technology the most while relying on it the least. Every time I plan a lesson that uses technology, I have Plan B in mind in case something doesn't work or isn't available. I have a ceiling-mounted projector in my room, purchased my own document camera several years ago and share a cart of 20 Chromebooks with another class. I recognize that technology is a tool, just like any other; it isn't the be-all-and-end-all. Technology doesn't, in and of itself, make lessons more engaging--filling in an electronic worksheet isn't any more interesting, or useful, than filling in a paper one.
     
  16. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Technology certainly enhances both teaching and learning....Can we do it without technology? We can...but, in today's world, why would we want to?
     
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  17. TheGr8Catsby

    TheGr8Catsby Rookie

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    While I do rely a lot on my projector especially, I am 86 years old at heart. There have been days when I didn't exactly turn on anything electronic. Of course, we are evaluated on technology integration, so if I'm being evaluated I definitely need something on.

    That just goes down to we are using technology for the sake of using technology, not student learning...
     
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  18. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I agree. There's really no sense in balking against technology. I don't think that means a teacher must absolutely drag in the latest-and-greatest gizmo into the classroom for no sake other than tech, but in this world, is it really so wrong to be teaching the kiddos about the common technology?

    And there is a lot of good stuff.

    Funnily enough, as expo markers eventually drive me nuts with 2nd graders and all the running out of ink and all that, I Donorschoose-d myself a set of lap chalkboards (and so far am loving the difference.) My intentions were less chaos with the markers and expense of chalk vs makers plus what seems to be better motor skill practice and nothing to do with being "retro" but now I'm a novelty for my chalkboards. I'm so vintage!
     
  19. TheGr8Catsby

    TheGr8Catsby Rookie

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    That's cool, and I bet they're loved! I hate the feeling of chalk, though. It gives me the heebie jeebies.
     
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  20. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    I graduated from my MAT program in 2006, which seems relatively recent, but when you think about how much tech has changed in those ten years, it does seem like a long time ago! My first teaching position was in a school with almost no tech -- we had no wi-fi and I still had an old-school overhead projector! I learned to teach the old-fashioned way, with a textbook, whiteboard, and modeling. I enjoy using tech and the possibilities it provides, but I won't do something just because it's tech -- it needs to add value in some way.

    Last year we lost power for half the morning and I didn't miss a beat, just pulled up the blinds, held up my textbook and went right back to teaching (despite a few pleas of "we can't learn in the dark!"). So I guess I am lucky to have gotten the best of both worlds!
     
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  21. TheGr8Catsby

    TheGr8Catsby Rookie

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    Oh yeah. When I was in 5th grade 2 years before then we didn't have projectors in school (as in from the computer, we had overheads). We had PCs in the classroom, but they were IBMs from the 90s. It's crazy how different it is.
     
  22. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I like using technology when it enhances my lesson, but I'm perfectly content with a whiteboard and some markers in different colors.
     
  23. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Markers are easy. I don't always want to take the time to.set up an electronic lesson.
     
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  24. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Gimme a class set of Chromebooks or a whiteboard and some expo markers--either way, my kids will learn! Good teaching is good teaching.
     
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  25. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Same! I thought it was just me. I cannot STAND chalk or chalkboards - even being around them. *shudder*
     
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  26. Bo C

    Bo C Rookie

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    I think the most important thing to consider is what works best at engaging your students. If you can accomplish that without utilizing tech, then you won't need it much. However, there are some benefits to using technology: motivating students, accommodating different learning styles, and reinforcing materials (see PBS survey here with some good data: edweekorg/media/teachertechusagesurveyresults.pdf).

    Like others have said, though, it's a tool, not a solution in and of itself necessarily.
     
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  27. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Chalk has upsides: never dries out if left uncapped, and if one is in the habit of wiping one's fingers on one's trousers after rubbing out a mistake, the residue launders out much more easily. (This is the voice of painful experience.)
     
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  28. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Well, two of the courses I teach are film studies courses, so I would be a little lost without the ability to show movies. In my English and Speech courses, though, I'd be fine without much technology.
     
  29. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Tech is a tool, like all others. I love the tech I use, but when it isn't available, I can still teach, the students still learn. I think most teachers over the age of ___ can get by without tech as needed in the classroom, and some of us can get by with less tech in our real lives. I do think that I need to keep my computer, but I can live without a lot of the other stuff. OK, I need the the navigation and radio in the car, and that is just me being lazy, because I can read a map. In the classroom, I am more focused. ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  30. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Oh, I know chalk is useful! I actually have a slight physical aversion to chalk - I get major goosebumps and just the heebie jeebie feeling. I would use it if I could.

    This thread is particularly relevant right now. We just started the year in a beautiful newly constructed school...but thanks to Comcast, we don't have internet yet, and we aren't likely to for another week or two. So that has been interesting. We are also switching to flat screen TVs instead of projectors, but we don't have those in the classrooms yet. We are teaching with NO tech right now! It's been an experience!
     
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  31. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Funnily enough, my chalkboards are quite popular.
     
  32. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I think chalk-holders are still to be found - I haven't worked a room with a chalkboard in years, but I still own one, somewhere - and of course there's wrapping the chalk in tissue or a bit of paper towel or even a band of paper, like a crayon.
     
  33. kajalsengupta

    kajalsengupta Rookie

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    I really enjoyed going through each and every comment but there is something which haunts me all the time. While we are talking about smart boards, chrome books etc etc.. what about those who do not have the basic facilities like a chalk board? What are we doing about them?
     
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  34. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    http://www.ideapaint.com/

    [​IMG]
    Dry erase paint?! I LEGIT want this SO BAD! If I could just cover the walls in it and turn it into a white board, I wouldn't need anything else.
    Though one first grade teacher I observed just let her kids write on the desk and then handed them a cleaning wipe afterward. The principal was there. She said, "We write on the desks in first grade." Without skipping a beat, K responded, "I love it!" She was a good principal... then she resigned to take a job for more money.
     
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  35. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    You can write on windows too for the most part. Just make sure you erase it immediately after otherwise they get stained.
     
  36. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    OOPS! That was a permanent marker! ;) :rofl:
    That would totally happen!
     
  37. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Boy, does this bring back memories of my 11th grade history teacher. He always wrapped the chalk in paper. Did anyone use a mimeograph machine or a reel to reel projector to show movies? Hi Tech for me when I started teaching was the over head projector.
     
  38. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I learned how to use both in teacher's college!
     
  39. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    We all have a partial wall of this in my new school! We haven't actually gotten to use it yet, though, because we're waiting on the special markers, erasers, and spray we have to use with it. I'm excited, though!
     
  40. Julie_W

    Julie_W Guest

    Sep 15, 2016

    I think technology in the classroom can be seen as something that can enhance the learning experience and add to it rather than replace all traditional methods. I wasn't even fully aware of all the tools and apps that were available to me while I was teaching or how difficult/easy they would be to implement. However, I have recently started working for a company that have created free education apps for the classroom. Really wish I had known about this when I was teaching as they are really great for engaging students and getting them to participate! But again, I would say these kind of apps work better for certain situations e.g. as a warm-up at the beginning of the class or prompting discussions to see what the students already know.

    If you're interested in checking out this particular tool, I have included the link here: https://spiral.ac/r/forum

    Would be genuinely interested to get some feedback from other teachers on whether they think this could work in their classroom and if they think it would be something they could use?
     
  41. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I saw another teacher writing on the desks, and I do it, too! The kids are engaged, we're not bothering with other stuff, and we clean regularly.
     

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