Question for those who have been teaching for 20+ years

Discussion in 'General Education' started by DrivingPigeon, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Sep 15, 2013

    Has technology made your job easier, more complicated, or neither?

    I know there have been many changes in education over the years, but I feel like the more technology we add to our plates, the MORE work I actually have to do. And I'm not talking about the devices themselves, but more so the programs and expectations.

    For example, all teachers and students in my district have Schoology accounts, where we can create lessons and discussions to share with students. Many of the higher-ups are also using this as a way to carry out professional development opportunities. Before our weekly staff meetings, we often have to view some sort of video (the "flipped" method). I also had to view a tutorial on our new teacher evaluation program, as well as a Slide Rocket on RtI. I spent 3 hours today going through emails and shared items in Google that I received in the past 2 which needed more attention. I watched about an hour worth of videos and tutorials. :dizzy:

    We're also expected to use Discovery Education, Moby Max, and Schoology on a regular basis with our students. I spent about 45 minutes today trying to set up my student accounts, but I guess they aren't ready to be set up yet (admin has to go in and do something).

    It made me wonder if teaching was a little less stressful "back in the day" when you had to actually talk to someone in person, or write them a note. Instead of relying on unreliable technology, teachers used paper, pencils, and hands-on games (of course, we still do that, but you know what I mean ;) ).

    I'm hoping I can get the hang of this soon, because it's really tough to keep up!
     
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  3. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    Sep 15, 2013

    I wouldn't say it is easier or harder, but it is different. When I started teaching, any technology was primarily used to drill students on information. Today it is obviously so much more. I can see that the students of today have very different skills than the students of 20 years ago. They can obtain information much more quickly, but they often struggle to organize that information. Honestly, going forward, I worry about interpersonal communication skills as all of us rely more and more on technology.

    From the standpoint of the teacher, technology has been both a blessing and a hindrance. When I didn't have a phone in the classroom, it was a frustration whenever I had to make calls to parents. Now I am expected to be available by phone or email at almost all times. I was always timely about grading student work, but now, thanks to the online grade book, parents expect grades to be available almost instantly. On the positive side, the wealth of information that I now have at my fingertips is something I would only have dreamed about when I was first teaching. I can find answers to my (and my students) questions almost instantly. I can also use technology to vary my teaching techniques in a wide variety of ways.

    Do I miss the way things once were - the time when we were given the keys to our room, entered, and figured out how to teach? Sometimes. Would I go back? No, but sometimes I would like to slow the pace of change slightly.
     
  4. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Sep 15, 2013

    Without a doubt--much easier. I had no computer my first year of teaching and I had to type up quizzes on a typewriter. The word internet was something we hadn't heard of. There was no e-mail and no SMARTBOARDs. I had to wait in line in the office to call a parent on their phone. Technology has been a blessing to me and has helped me to save time and get more organized. It has also helped me to be a better teacher.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 16, 2013

    I do think that email has made communication much easier.

    I'm the moderator of the National Honor Society. After next week's inductions, I'll have 600+ kids to manage. It's so much easier when kids can email me with switches. That's my normal routine-- anyone can make a switch, but I need to get an email. otherwise I would have kids stopping me in the hallways and expecting me to remember who was working which event.

    And it makes parent communication much easier. Yesterday a dad had a question on the weekend's homework. His daughter looked it up on my webpage, dad shot me a question, and an hour later it was settled when I checked my email.

    Having computer access makes things more interesting. I can show my kids the clip from the Wizard of Oz where the scarecrow mangles the Pythagorean Theorem, or pull up the first 10,000 prime numbers.

    But, at the end of the day, good teaching is still good teaching. All the bells and whistles in the world won't take the place of a good teacher who knows the material, likes the kids, and is willing to make both the connections and the tough choices to ensure that the kids learn.
     
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Sep 16, 2013

    It's just different.

    I started out with a chalkboard. Now I have a Smart classroom.

    Communication and information access are easier. I do hate relying on technology that is out of my hands. Failure of technology can really mess up my day.
     
  7. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    Sep 16, 2013

    Generally speaking, if technology is making life more difficult, it's not due to the technology; it's probably due to the public education system that doesn't allow the resources to hire decent IT professionals and curriculum advisers who are finding the most efficient tools out there.
     
  8. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Sep 16, 2013

    I still have a chalkboard! However I also have a PC with a projector. Not a smartboard but it does mean I can show video clips and images/animations to help out with lessons. failure of technology can be a pain but I am probably one of a dwindling few in my school who can just carry on and produce a useful lesson when it does fail!

    best still sometimes other teachers (younger ones) teach in my room and they all love the chalkboard. One of them has asked if the school can find one for his regular room (and he is my boss)!
     
  9. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Sep 16, 2013

    I do like The evolution of teaching in many ways. My lessons are more interesting with the addition of video clips and more interactive by using the smart board. I would not want to go back to the purple ditto (well, just one more sniff please!) or days with no phone or computer. I do think we sometimes use technology just because we can.
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    "One more sniff"...that had me laughing out loud:haha:
     
  11. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I still miss my chalkboard some days. Mine was the nice black slate. Loved my colored chalk.

    I get frustrated that we have nice technology, but no money to keep it updated. I loved my student responders, but they updated my computer over the summer and now they won't work. I had a set of 30 laptops . . . in 2005. Now they're basically worthless. No money to update.
     
  12. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    Sep 16, 2013

    A new trend in my school is teachers painting one of their walls with chalkboard paint. One did it last year, and now two more have chalkboards in their room this year. I like the white board, but the traditionalist in me likes the old-school look of the chalkboard!
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I still adore my chalk board!
     
  14. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Sep 17, 2013

    Do you still call them 'Blackboards' in the US? I still refer to mine as a blackboard (it is black).
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 17, 2013

    I usually do, though I've seen some that are green :)
     
  16. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Sep 17, 2013

    My teaching hasn't changed...except; notes are now emails, slide shows are now video clips, and chalkboards are now white boards and smart boards. I basically still teach the same.
     
  17. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 17, 2013

    I've always called them chalkboards. Going through my certification program, we use an online classroom called Blackboard.
     
  18. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Sep 17, 2013

    I had a blackboard my first 8 years of teaching. It was real slate and I loved it. I still miss it. I miss my colored chalk. I miss the natural materials. I miss the slower pace and the unplugged feeling. My students loved the pictures I drew for them. A white board and markers just isn't as nice.

    My favorite tech tool last year was my document camera. I used it every day. And I enjoyed being able to find great video clips online to support my lessons. There is great stuff out there but like the others said, nothing can replace the interaction between teacher and student.

    I am teaching preK now and I haven't used any technology with my students yet this year. I use my laptop for email and research etc. but my smart board isn't hooked up yet. And I don't give a darn. I don't really need my three year olds staring at yet another screen, anyway. We are reading real books and pounding real play doh and drawing real pictures of our caterpillars.Thank God.
     
  19. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Sep 17, 2013

    We all are going to die from the toxic ink in the expo markers!
     
  20. DrBill

    DrBill Rookie

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    Sep 18, 2013

    Hi

    In my opinion, the purpose of technology is to make your life in the classroom easier. If it doesn't I'd suggest you're choosing the wrong technology.

    Before I put my time and effort into a new technology it has to either save me time and make life easier, or if it will be more work, it had better guarantee an increase in achievement, or be a hell of a lot of fun:)

    I have some good posts on technology, stop by if you're surfing!

    Dr. Bill
    PD Corner
     

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