As I began to think about my attempt to gain sponsors for Glass, it made me think about an infographic (at the bottom of this post) that came my way a few months ago. I especially started to think about this when reflecting on something Jessy Irwin (@jessysaurusrex) said in response to my last post, Glass in the Classroom?. She said it’s important to get a tool like Glass into the hands of students who might never have access to it.
While I do not want to pretend that I was the first person to embrace technology in my district (far from it), I was one of the most highlighted, in terms of news stories and such. It was 2009 when I began to use the eBeam interactive whiteboard in my classroom and at the time there were just a few other teachers using any sort of interactive whiteboard. In fact, it was difficult to even secure an overhead projector (yes, with transparencies and the pens that dyed your hand for the rest of the day) in our school.
While I might debate some of the numbers in this infographic when comparing it to our district (though perhaps not when also comparing it to the district across the creek), I can completely agree with the last line, stating that 2 out of 3 teachers want more technology in their classroom. Although what they don’t say is that most teachers want it to be effective technology, not just any technology.
If we put enough Glass in a classroom for every student and the teacher, that might currently be a little overwhelming. In fact, even a class set of laptops can be overwhelming without the right training. Yes, I know the lines about “No student has ever said I can’t use this technology because I don’t have the training”, but how about the reaction you have once you learn how to use a program effectively and realize “I could have been using my time and this technology in a much more efficient way”?
All this to say… Yes, we need to put more technology into the hands of the students and teachers in the most struggling schools. But we also need to provide the coaching and technical support that will allow them to use the tools in more effective ways.
(By the way, small side note… after 2 out of 5 days of my Glass sponsorship campaign I’m at $510 with 5 donors. I have about $1000 to go before Friday afternoon if I’m going to be able to hold onto it.)
via OnlineUniversities.com and Allison Morris
1. Technical support, onsite (is wireless up or down, network working, etc)
2. Is there support of people who know how to use tech in classroom? (fellow teachers, tech trainers)
3. Are there classes for students so they know how to use technology in their content areas so those teachers can focus on using tech as a tool and not have to stop and teach students how to format a page, create a website, keyboard more than 5 wpm, etc., (yes, I believe there is a need for labs that are, unfortunately, being dismantled across the U.S.)
4. Is the school’s administration a avid promoter and user of tech? (please, no boring PowerPoint presentations any more – oh, by the way, has the admin put the copy room off limits?)
5. Is tech use in the class promoted by upper administrative types. Do they walk the talk? Do they even know what a blended class is or how putting technology in the hands of students and teachers is a big step forward?
Without support, even most avid of tech using educators will give up, (or become underground tech users that proceed without the understanding of the non-tech administration and other teachers).
I definitely agree with #1, #2, #4, and #5. As far as #3, I do think that using tech can be learned in context, just as I don’t believe in having students read nonsense books to work on phonics when they can be reading real books and working on the same thing.