I have two personal laptops at home. There are four laptops in total at our house. We have a wonderful DVR that we use regularly. There are other miscellaneous technologies that we really don’t use a desktop, three or four mp3 players, digital cameras, gaming systems, and much more.
I have the pleasure of being the first teacher for a pilot program at both of the charter schools that I work at. I will use LA and WA for the two different schools. LA has 29 desktop computers, they don’t have CD drives and I believe they don’t have fans in them either. We have or are supposed to have headphones with microphones at each computer but nearly all of the microphones are broken off. I had a smart board for about 6 months but I have no projector and the computers needed a software update that never got done so I lost my board. WA has nearly the same setup minus one computer and way less working headphones. I store the AV carts and smart board a room in my room but something is wrong with the setup and there is not image on the smart board. The cart has a projector (WA), digital viewer and speakers.
I do not have all of the technology that I need, I would love a wireless microphone at both campuses, I have a double room and it is very hard to hear. I would love to have working smart boards at both campuses because I am limited with board space at one campus I can’t really reach the chalk boards. If I had working smart boards at both campuses it would be easier for me to do whole class instruction. I am fairly short and students struggle to see over the computers and dividers when I am at the board. I could be a little more mobile and I could go back to where I left off.
At LA we get emails all the time reminding us to integrate technology in to our classroom then we get emails saying don’t take the carts out or not to keep them for an extended period of time. This of course makes it very difficult to try new things when you can only use it a short amount of time and they have to be returned at the end of the day. It feels like something they feel they have to say but don’t really mean it, enforce it or really sincerely value it.
Honestly there is not that much talk about technology amongst the staff. When I see teachers with the carts in their rooms at LA they express how much they love it. We always make little comments like, what, you brought out the smart board! I think most teachers don’t want to deal with the headache of checking the equipment out. I have many coworkers that are pretty old school and don’t really want to deal with it mainly because of negative experiences. There are also teachers who really want technology but because we are a public school and aren’t always sure where money is coming from they feel they may never get the technology they want.
My students love computer class at LA, they love going on paint and think that the teacher is great. I have two students in my class as I type this (it’s my prep) and I asked them why they like computers, a summary of their answers: I like computers, I love computers because I like technology. I asked them to elaborate. “I like computers because it teaches me about technology and technology is the new thing and I have never learned about it before”. So it seems they know it is important but not necessarily what it is.
My teaching unfortunately has not been to different now that I have more access to technology. There are many factors that I have to deal with that surpasses the technology available to me.
What I hope to get out of this class is knowledge. One of the things that I hate is being dependent on other people to do my job. I want to be able to solve some of the everyday problems that I come across and also use the technology available to me more effectively. I would also like creative but simple ways to use technology to pass this knowledge on to my students so as the years go on they can be more productive learners and users of technology.
My 5th grade is researching Spanish speaking countries and thankfully I did my lab and
I was able to help them do their research more affectively!