Overcoming NO technological resources

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Jerseygirlteach, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Sep 1, 2010

    Okay, so I saw my new classroom today and toured the school. I will have close to nothing in terms of technology. Basically it's a chalkboard, a computer that looks at least 15 years old (for my use)and use of a tv/vcr. I'm not used to this. My last position, I had a smartboard and a bank of computers for my students. And when I was student teaching, we had even more.

    Anyone in my situation and any advice on keeping their attention in this multimedia age?

    ETA - I'll be teaching MS SS.
     
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  3. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Sep 1, 2010

    Do you have an overhead projector (for transparencies) at least?

    Regardless, your task will undoubtedly be more difficult, but it's certainly feasible. I taught without technology items (also social studies) and it works out fine. I had to use the copy machine a bit more than I liked, but even still, it was okay. I started each class with a reading assignment (book, article, current events, whatever), and had a series of comprehension questions based on the reading written on the board. After that, most days would include a discussion and notes on the topic for the day. You can either write the notes on the board, or if you have an overhead projector, use transparencies. If you have to use the board, I would usually write out the highlights of what I wanted to cover in advance for myself, and use that as my reference (at least for the 1st year). I would also stop to ask discussion questions quite often to hold attention. These would be deeper questions to engage them better.... such as if we talk about a war, I might ask them why people go to war in general, and we'd dive into that (as opposed to simple recall questions).

    To keep their attention better, I would also randomly call on students A LOT... quite literally every minute or two, as this would force them to pay better attention. If you can do this well, and truly randomly (ie: calling on the same kid a few times in a class period, mixing up who it is, etc), you will keep their attention far longer, and better.

    Another good activity to incorporate media, is "roaming images". I stole this from another teacher, but I like it a lot. I would take the images that you might normally include in a PowerPoint, and print them off (ideally in color if you have a color printer), and post them around the room. Then I would have a series of questions about the pictures the students would have, and they would walk around looking at the pictures and answering the questions. Then we would discuss them as a class.

    I hope this helps.... that's all that comes to mind for now, but I'm sure there was more too.
     
  4. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Sep 1, 2010

    BTDT. If there is a category on your observation forms for "use of technology" MAKE SURE you point out that the only technology you have is an overhead. Is there a lab anywhere in the building that you can use?
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 1, 2010

    Good, imaginative, creative teaching is all about the TEACHING, not the TECHNOLOGY.

    Sure, it adds to the lesson-- sometimes.

    But the charisma comes from the teacher presenting the lesson, from the preparation that person has put in, from her background knowledge and the way she's able to make middle school social studies come alive to her kids.
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Comrade

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    Sep 1, 2010

    Having a great laptop and huge flat-screen tv might be nice but not necessary to teach middle school social studies (or most other subjects at any grade level).

    Engage the students by telling them stories about the past, present, and what is possible in the future. Having a passion and deep understanding of the subject will overwhelm the need to rely on technology.

    I do use the technology available, but most of what I cover attempts to get the student to understand their own connection to the subject at hand.
     
  7. SingBlueSilver

    SingBlueSilver Companion

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    Sep 1, 2010

    JerseyGirl

    We probably come from the same camp. I totally agree that the student's learning comes from the teacher, but IF there IS technology available that would enhance those lessons that we plan, then by all means we want to use it, right?

    First, how large is your tv? If you like to show powerpoints, it IS possible to use the tv as very large monitor for viewing. You'll want to consult a person at an electronics store for more help. Try taking a picture of the jacks/connections of the tv to show them if its something you want to try.

    Next, if you haven't already talked to the P about what resources there is available to you ASK, its a very valid question. Ask about the technology - if there is anything available for checkout in terms of an overhead or lcd projector. Nothing? Then ask your department chair about what activities they typically do in their classroom and adapt them to fit your needs. If you don't have any technology, I'm thinking that other teachers in your school don't have it as well? Unless you're willing to go out of pocket for these things (which I did), then you're going to have to "take it back old school style." =P

    I read in another thread someone got an overhead for $25(?) off of Craigslist...Another source is Ebay...Lots of people are on DonorsChoose.com...I got my lcd off of newegg.com
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 2, 2010

    As far as practical suggestions (and this from a math teacher, so take it for what it's worth);

    - can you subscribe to Time, or Time for Kids, or National Geographic, or NG for Kids?

    - Last year I taught across the hall from one of the most amazing teachers I've ever known. Kevin teaches European History. And, while we have access to lots of technology, that's not what makes Kevin's classes so wonderful. It's the details. When I give tests, I listen to Kevin. He knows so many little details about each historical person and event-- it's like listening to a description by someone who was actually there! I learned a whole lot simply by teaching across the hall-- and giving my class a test every two weeks.

    Beyond that, is there money for field trips to enrich the curriculum? Guest speakers perhaps?

    Also, is your local public library of any help at all? And that VCR-- there are an awful lot of amazing tapes out there. The fact that they're not DVDs or downloads makes absolutely no difference to the kids seeing them.
     
  9. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Sep 2, 2010

    Thanks everyone for the advice. I am confident in my teaching ability and my subject matter knowledge and I do recognize that these factors are far more important than technology. That being said, though, it does make it harder to compete for their attention when they're used to the technology of the 21st century in their everyday lives and I'm working with the technology of the 20th. ;)

    Also, I am used to using either a laptop projector or smartboard to bring dynamic content to my lessons. It will be an adjustment to not be able to provide them with video clips, images, ppt presentations, learning games and online content.

    But on the bright side, maybe it will force me to be a more creative teacher to NOT have anything but myself to capture their attention and imagination.

    And no - I didn't even see an overhead projector in the room. I'm always shy about asking for things but I will see if they have one. If not, I guess I will go out and buy one (though, my husband is slowly losing his patience with how much I'm spending).
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 2, 2010

    It's tough when one's not good at asking, I know. Chances are pretty good, though, that this school has at least an overhead projector or two stashed away somewhere. You might also consider something like DonorsChoose (it's either .com or .org, I think): several A to Z members have gotten some nice contributions that way.
     

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