How much technology do you utilize?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by RNolan, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. RNolan

    RNolan Rookie

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    Jan 14, 2010

    I know that because we're all on a forum, we have a decent extent of understanding and use of new technology in teaching. Generally speaking, however, the old guard (from what I recall) don't take to technology too well.

    I also don't think this is a very fair example as people do often think they are more current than they are, but here is my question:

    What is your understanding and use of technology in the classroom? What is your opinion of it being used?
     
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  3. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I loved using technology in my classroom, but it had to be an easy addition into our daily schedule. I couldn't 'waste' time with it, if that makes sense. I used podcasting in it's simpliest form, and the kids took to it like fish to water. We didn't have the software to edit, so we simply recorded on an iPod and uploaded. That worked well enough-I could pass the iPod out, they knew how to work it, and it was simple. I also had a classroom website, because my program made it a breeze to upload and update. I had a smartboard at one school, but it was nothing but issues-they never trained me, the projector bulb burned out and they never replaced it, etc. They even took my white board out to put it up, so I had nothing when the bulb went out! To me, that is the worst kind of technology-it makes my life MORE stressful. If it had been simple, I would have loved it.

    I think there are so many great resources coming out that would be great to bring into the classroom-we just need to figure out ways to make it low maintenance (like when my Facebook status automatically updates my Twitter account-EXCELLENT!!).
     
  4. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    In my lab I have 1 computer. It is linked to a projector and screen (not an IWB) Currently the projector is faulty, sometimes it works (albeit with a big blue streak down one side) and sometimes it doesn't. Some days you can access the web and some days you can't (or it is very slow). Consequently I try to use it as little as possible. I have a white boaurd on the wall and a blackboard on an easel. It is the only blackboard left in the school. The dept does have an IWB and I am timetabled for two lessons each week in that room but as I have never been given any training in its use I cannot use it!
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm not a fan of using technology simply because it's there. If it will further the learning process, great. But I see no point in technology for its own sake.

    I don't use much in my classroom at all; I'm very comfortable with chalk and a blackboard, with my scientific calculator for the upper level courses. (This year I use it only for my SAT prep classes; until we hit Trig I don't need it for Algebra or Geometry.)

    I do occasionally use my document camera. (People here tend to call it an "ELMO")I used it this morning for a graphing lesson-- the graph paper shows up nicely. And I take attendance each period by computer.
     
  6. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    I have one desktop computer that is attached to a projector. I use it a lot for powerpoints and educational videos from schooltube. I got a grant last spring for 13 laptops, a SMARTboard, a printer, a wireless hub, and a new teacher docking station. It is now January and I have a printer that has been in the box in the closet and the cabinets for my laptops were put in over Thanksgiving break. The super came in today and asked if I had my laptops yet. I told him I have laptop cabinets and a printer in a box. No SMARTboard and nothing is installed yet. I was told in November that the laptops were here, but I guess they are still in the boxes somewhere. I am not holding my breath.
    I am at a point in my classes where we need computers and I was counting on having them here by now. We can travel across the school and go to the lab to use computers. But there is a teacher that has it reserved for the rest of the year for some periods because the kids just surf the internet during class.
     
  7. BB0211

    BB0211 Companion

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    Jan 14, 2010

    I use the following:

    *1 computer in the classroom
    *4 computers in the hallway for student use
    *LCD projector daily for
    -Powerpoint lessons...usually in math
    -watching movies on unitedstreaming
    -playing math games on line
    *"Notebook"-it's a desktop program that allows you to actually draw on your desktop screen (kind of like a smart board)
    *EdModo classroom social network site
    *TV/DVD
    *overhead

    I LOVE using the LCD the most...it helps ME so much with organization because I make the slides up before they come in and then I just run the slideshow and everything is there for me ready to go!
     
  8. SunnyGal

    SunnyGal Companion

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    Jan 14, 2010

    I love using technology when I can, but my district can be a little technology crazy. Sometimes they try to push too much at us at once, and that gets extremely stressful.

    Here's what I have:
    Laptop
    Projector
    Promethean Board
    Activ Slate for the PBoard (I can walk around the room and use that to write and it goes on the board. It's awesome!)
    3 Desktops for student use
    ELMO document camera

    I use my Promethean Board pretty much every day. I can put up the daily agenda, PowerPoint slides, and anything else. One of my favorite things is a countdown clock. I can turn it on and kids can see it on the board and keep an eye on how much time they have left to work on an assignment. It cuts down on unnecessary chit-chat and behavior issues.
     
  9. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    My classroom doesn't have a whole lot. I would love a set of laptops to be shared within the department. If I had that I would have my students do a daily food log to calculate what nutrients they have each day, what they're lacking, what they have too much of and so on. It's not reasonable to do this by hand daily, but the info would be super helpful for the nutrition course I teach.

    What I do use regularly are content related videos, power point presentations of notes and power point review games.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 14, 2010


    Seems like a projector bulb would be an easy enough thing to replace...did you have a tech budget at your school to buy replacements? (sounds like a bad joke...how many teachers and technicians does it take to screw in a lightbulb?)
    We've had SmartBoards in my school in one form or another for several years now, I piloted one for 2 years before they started purchasing them for the whole school...I'm not the most tech savvy person but I find the SB quite easy to use. There is a wealth of resources available free online-activities, games, interactive lessons that you can quickly find and use with your class. I've also had training in designing my own SB lessons- again, pretty easy once you know the 'basics'...you could always go to Smarttech online-there are some tutorials there that make it quite understandable...it's a great piece of technology that can be used in meaningful and creative ways without being burdensome.
     
  11. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Jan 14, 2010

    I will preface this by saying that I don't intend to offend anyone here. But I get extremely frustrated with a group of teachers in my building who claim to support technology, but then never learn to use the technology we have. They complain "We don't have training!!!!!!!"

    My response to those in my building, and again now, is always: "So what?". Learn anyway if you really want to use it. Almost any modern piece of technology available today has manuals, tutorials, and a truly staggering amount of information available online that can teach you how to use it. If anyone really wants to learn, the information is out there.

    We have a district course management system that lets teachers upload documents, grades, and all sorts of stuff into sites for each course you teach. We couldn't afford the training seminars, but each teacher was provided with the detailed user manual. Yet out of a faculty of close to 50 teachers, perhaps 10 of us use it regularly. Most of the others gripe that "nobody showed me how to use it, it's too hard, I can't figure it out, etc".

    Give me a break. If you really want to use it, learning how to do so is quite possible. Is all technology great and useful? No, probably not. But there are certain tools that I strongly think all teachers can, and should, learn to utilize. Electronic record keeping (gradebook, attendance, etc), course websites, email, digital calendars, etc, are all tremendously useful for any teacher, of virtually any subject. And I find myself blown away each year by the amount of teachers that avoid all those as if technology was the black death.

    As for what I use... I use a class website, online gradebook, digital projector for PowerPoints, document camera, DVD player, laptop computer, 2 student computers, and a speaker system. I love the stuff....... :rolleyes:
     
  12. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Jan 14, 2010

    I use lots of technology. I teach at a 1:1 laptop school which means that every student and every teacher has a laptop for use 24/7. In addition to the laptops, I have a projector, document camera, a complete set of LabPro equipment for 6 groups, and a class set of graphing calculators. I use a program called DyKnow which is a monitoring software and interactive classroom management software. I was offered a Promethean Board at the beginning of the school year. I turned it down because I could not think of anything I could do with it that I could not already do with my tablet laptops. With DyKnow, I can walk around my classroom and everything I do on my laptop, my students can see it on their laptop. I do not use technology just to use technology but because I believe that students today live in a technological world and we have to meet them where they are. They need to be prepared for the world that they are going to live in.
     
  13. looneyteachr

    looneyteachr Companion

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    smartboard - computer lab time (brochures, newsletters, webquests) - blogs, webpages
     
  14. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I have 2 desktops for students
    1 laptop for me
    ELMO
    LCD Projector

    I use them all daily
     
  15. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    All the It skills I have are self taught. None of the training (and there has been precious little) that has ever been provided by my school has been of any use. However how you could train yourself to use an IWB when you cannot get into the room to use it I don't know. I feel that teaching yourself to use ICT stuff is like teaching yourself to drive!
     
  16. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Jan 15, 2010

    I'm self-taught on almost all of my tech skills. My comfort level with computers and technology is high, I got my first desktop as a 3rd grader in 1983 ... I've had a desktop or laptop since then.

    In my classroom, all of my students have tablet PCs. All teachers have one, too.

    I use on a regular basis:
    Twitter
    Ning
    Edmodo
    Google Docs
    Digital flashcards
    DyKnow

    I have a digital projector, used to have an IWB, but DyKnow elimiated the need for that and all our IWBs went to the elementary.
     
  17. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    We don't, comparatively, have a lot of technology in my school--2 desktop computer labs of 24 computers each, 2 SmartBoards and 3 projectors. We are getting 3 (I think) document cameras and another projector soon. I don't use technology as much as I would like to, but that's more logistics--with over 30 teachers sharing what we have, access is limited at best. I try, though, and am not afraid to experiment with new things.

    As far as not knowing how to set up or use the technology, we have several of our grade 7 and 8 students trained as a "tech team". They are responsible for setting up the projectors, etc. in the classrooms when they are needed and will also help the teachers trouble-shoot some of the simpler stuff.
     
  18. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    1. Students have used wiki's in my classroom for the following uses:
    -- Doing their own research online to answer questions they've had that we do not cover in class about the unit.
    -- Sharing their experimental design, data, and conclusion. I then allow their peers to review their work and offer feedback. I didn't do it the first time but next I would offer sentence prompts to help them (they're only 5th graders after all)

    2. Students have used PowerPoint or Keynote to design presentations of their unit experiment. It must include graphs, data tables, sketches, basic information about the topic, etc.

    3. Next year, my school is going 1:1 with Macbooks. I plan on getting students signed up for Google doc accounts and us keeping our plant data (they grow plants in the first unit) in a spreadsheet template so it's easier for them to find, organize, and analyze the data with.

    4. I am planning on using VoiceThreads as a way to have discussions for homework assignments. I just haven't had the chance to do so yet. But every faculty member and student has their own account already set up.

    5. Every class at my school has a Moodle site set-up. There's various things I've done already with it: students have blogged about their plants, we have discussion forums to talk about topics and plan experiments after-school, I post videos that would be interesting for the kids and science news articles that connects to what we're learning about.

    6. I've used Jing to edit images and make videos on how to use different web-sites, do research, etc. I will *attempt* next year to find ways to get my students to start using it.

    My opinion is that I love it :wub: I know that students will sometimes be distracted with everything they can do on a computer, but there's so much we can do that its worth it.
     
  19. gottagoodgig

    gottagoodgig Companion

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    Jan 15, 2010

    -Teacher computer (attendance, grades, hooks to Smartboard, play daily podcast announcments)
    -Smartboard
    -Document Camera
    -Projector
    -DVD/VCR
    -TV
    -3 student computers
    -iPod touches (6) for literacy
    -Leapsters (5) for centers--checked out from library
    -CD/Tape Player for listening centers

    I work at an arts and tech focus school. I use the Smartboard and document camera on a daily basis and LOVE them!
     
  20. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I am in one of the new classrooms in my school, at my disposal I have the following:
    -A class set of macbooks
    -My own macbook
    -Smartboard
    -Moodle
    -Online (district wide) gradebook
    -1 color laser printer

    My students use their laptops with a similar system that Chem Teach uses along with my Smart Board daily. I use these devices together to complete notes, pracitce questions, online games, reviews, etc. I'm researching now into an electronic binder which can replace their paper binders. I also try and do as many online discussions as possible through moodle to allow for the students who are shy in class an other method of particpation. I also use moodle to administer online test/quizzes when applicable. For my AP students however, I have them write them by hand because that is how they will be doing it on the AP Exam.
     
  21. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I love technology!

    I have a SmartClassroom, so I use it all day, every day. I have a wall-mounted SmartBoard, an AirLiner wireless slate, two student computers, a SmartBoard computer, two color printers, a wireless microphone system, two NEO2 laptops, a ceiling mounted projector, a document camera, 30 laptop computers (they're old), a wall-mounted television with cable, student responders, Internet access on all computers, a DVD/VCR player, and a digital camera. We have access to other types of techology from the media class, too.

    As of this week, all of our classrooms have a SmartBoard. Not all of them have all the other stuff, though.

    I don't view technology as something else to do. I view it as something to use to take the place of or supplement other materials.
     
  22. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    So many reasons... inner city school with no money for bulbs so hoops had to be jumped through, a secretary who didn't speak/read English very well and couldn't figure out how to order one even after permission was granted, a principal who was never in the building/didn't care when he was, etc (there were only 8 staff members in the building). Same principal who had me order 1k in science materials as we had NONE and then decided he didn't have the money so I had to inventory/send it all back....
     
  23. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I understand where you're coming from, Ron, but sometimes it's just too much. The year I had the Smartboard, it was my first year in the district, I was teaching 6th, 7th and 8th grade science along with drama (only science teacher in the building), we had just gotten an entirely new set of curriculum so I had to figure that out, I didn't have a planning period and I had to figure out how to get science supplies as my cupboards were literally empty. Sometimes you really do just need someone to come in and show you how to do something. Research is great when you have the time, but there are many who just don't.
     
  24. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    I just got a Smartboard yesterday (we share it at our grade level but it started in my room yesterday) and even though I didn't know it was showing up, I set it up immediately and used it 3 times throughout the day.

    I stayed 3 hours after school yesterday and rearranged my entire room to I could get a practical spot (it's on a stand with wheels and the projector is on a cart).

    Technology is very engaging for students. They live in a digital world. I don't think there is anything wrong with a chalkboard or regular whiteboard (and I will still use one of those, along with chart paper), but I do want to integrate technology when I can.

    I would love if the Smartboard and projector were mounted so they didn't take up so much space, but I'm willing to sacrifice a bit (I got rid of a couple of other pieces of furniture) in order to make it work.

    I have 5 desktops in my classroom (kind of old, but they are supposed to get replaced this Spring) and we have a computer lab with enough laptops for each student that we get to use once a week for 45 minutes.
     
  25. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    You're assuming that everyone really wants to use it. I'm not sure that's a valid assumption

    I know how to use all the things you mentioned. My school takes attendance every period via computer, so of course I use that daily. I choose not to have an electric gradebook (though my husband does). I have a daily study hall in the cafeteria, where there's no computer ( and I prefer not schlep around a laptop); I prefer to do my grades by calculator since I know I have that time every day. Plus I like seeing the grades determined one by one; it gives me a good feel for how the class as a whole is doing.

    I email constantly, though never from school and seldom having anything to do with school.

    I see no reason for a course website for the particular courses I teach. As far as websites to help in my courses: I've found a LOT and occasionally mentioned them to kids. But I seldom use them in class. I review with problems that I come up with; they're similar to the ones I've taught and of the appropriate level of difficulty for my kids.

    I hate powerpoint, particularly in math. It means you can't vary what you say or how you say it from one period to the next. I prefer to have my kids come up with their own "Process" notes as we explain how to do each new sort of problem. No two of my classes have notes that are identical because no two of my classes have the exact same kids seeing the material the exact same way. They don't have identical problems either; I determine which problem to do next based on how they did with the last problem.

    I guess my point is this: one can be perfectly well versed in technology and still decide that it's not the right tool for that teacher in that course with that group of kids.

    Technology is not a magic bullet that will produce Stepford Students, well versed in their material. It doesn't replace good teaching, it can only supplement that teaching when and if appropriate.
    I use technology, just not in the classroom as much as you apparently think all teachers should.
     
  26. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    I think a lot of it has to do with where you teach and what your district has for technology... in my school (K-3) there is VERY little. I have 4 laptops I use in the classroom and that's about it. We just got a SmartBoard, but it's for the whole school to share so I can check it out for a week at a time, which I will do.
     
  27. hoku625

    hoku625 Rookie

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    love technology

    I use technology to supplement my teaching. I have a desktop that's for teacher use only, attendance, lotus notes, etc. I have a laptop, connected to my document camera, and projector. I create power points to introduce topics and supplement the textbook. In my classroom, I have 5 old eMacs that the students use for AR tests, simple research, and KidBiz activities. I also have a mobile lab with 10 macbooks that I can use during the day. They do research and word processing. There are 20 more macbooks across the hall that I can use if I need each child to have one at their desks but most of the time they can share when they are researching.

    This semester I'm going to do some podcasting and want to create a web quest. Technology is engaging but I think they need a to read the textbooks as well.
     
  28. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    I have a teacher computer, 5 student computers, my personal laptop, LCD projector and document reader, and a class website. I plug my laptop into my LCD for Power Point lessons, website info, etc. I use it a lot, I think.
     
  29. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    My use of tech has taken a backward step recently. My old home PC imploded about 12 months back and had to buy a new one. The new one had Vista. Which was OK until I tried to access the school network from home (something I did all the time on the old Windows XP machine). I could not access the school network. Many hours of work by myself and the school ICT technicians later, downloads of patches and fixes and now I can access one folder on the school system. The one where I store my own work. I still cannot access any staff shared areas or admin areas. However although I can now open a document in there I can't modify it or store any changes! What's more the school recently upgraded to Office 2007. I operate office 2003 at home. So any new documents now won't open on my home PC unless I lash out loads of my own money to buy Office 2007! The school is looking into whether they can give the staff office 2007 for their home machines but as yet no-one has come back to me. I am not holding my breath!
     
  30. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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  31. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    This level of tech usage is kinda surprising, because I substitute in two middle to upper class districts (all over the area, and for years), and I really have yet to see ONE class with anywhere near the tech usage you all speak of.

    Seriously.

    Computer lab time usually consists of some type to learn, math/language arts games, etc. All classes now have ELMO/projectors, but none (I should very few) use it for any other purpose than reading documents. (As you all have said, it's powerful hooked up to your computer.)
     
  32. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    I am earning my masters in educational technology right now and it's pretty exciting. There's so much technology out there and more being developed every day. I just want to be prepared to keep up with it all and give my students the best education they can get. Kids are online for so much nowadays and so am I. I look forward to integrating technology into my curriculum painlessly. I think it will only benefit the students I teach in the long run. I teach Language Arts and Social Sciences so I have many opportunities to use these tools.
     
  33. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Don't even get me started. WE have like one projector to share with all of elementary, so I never use one because what a pain to sign-up and drag it over to the classroom. We do have a computer lab, which we go to once a week. Today we went in addition to our regular day, tomorrow, because I made a science webquest for my kids. I am a fan of technology, but without there's not much you can do. Oh, and I don't even have a computer in my room. .... :(
     
  34. Doug_HSTeach_07

    Doug_HSTeach_07 Comrade

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    Jan 20, 2010

    Using technology more continues to be a work in progress for me. Although I use an LCD projector, ELMO, computer, DVD player, a class blog, and a few other tools, I still would really like to experiment on stuff like:

    Moodle, Ning, Jing, GoogleDocs, podcasting, wikis, a real class website, and VoiceThreads.

    Hopefully in the summer! :)
     
  35. RNolan

    RNolan Rookie

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    Jan 21, 2010

    Complaining about lack of training for technology really bugs me. It might be that I'm a younger teach and understand technology concepts. I can operate any piece of machine in due time. I think that teaching only evolves with technology as per the teacher's means of teaching. If you're good at what you do on a chalk board, stick to it! If you are modern, utilize what you know how to do!
     

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