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Blowing off some steam!

July 25, 2006

Sorry for the vent, but my family is tired of hearing it so I needed to vent someplace else. Yesterday I sat through summer academy with fellow tech liasions. We are working on technology standards in our district. Frustration mounted when the comment came up about the availability of LCD projectors in the buildings. The argument was that teachers weren’t about to use PowerPoint or show things off of the computer because they didn’t have the LCD projector. I piped up about connecting the computer to a TV. Our coordinator mentioned that he had the cords to do this and some teachers were effectively doing this at one of our schools. Unfortunately, the idea was cut down because running it through a TV wasn’t as good going through an LCD projector. I wanted to scream!!!! If one little thing is preventing them from using PowerPoint or other things because they don’t have an LCD project, then running it through the TV is a viable solution. No it doesn’t equal an LCD projector, but it is one way to get started using PowerPoint and such so that once the LCD projector does come along then it won’t be a big leap. I can’t believe how many people let one little thing stand in the way of integration. Mostly, it is just a fear of having to change. I was at another summer academy last week talking about project based learning. I made the comment that it takes a shift in teaching as the teacher becomes more a coach and a facilitator than the “sole font of knowledge.” I had one teacher immediately stop taking notes and start playing on her computer rather than listening to me. Frustration abounds!!! Just blowing off some steam. Again, sorry for the more personal post.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 27, 2006 2:17 pm

    I can’t tell you how many times I have experienced the same frustration you are feeling. The very first post I made on my blog addressed the topic of excuses people make in relation to the use of technology. The post contains a wonderful article by Jim Holland.

    I have come to the realization lately that there is always going to be those teachers who can’t (or won’t) consider to value of integrating technologt into their classrooms. I related the two to trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. So what do we do? We have to keep our focus on those that are more accepting and willing, and eventually, as the change comes, albeit slowly, I truly believe the others will want to get on board.

    Brian Grenier

  2. Angie permalink*
    July 27, 2006 7:57 pm

    In comment to David’s: A LCD projector in every room in this day and age should be the way things stand. I totally agree there and our district is getting to that point. In the past, we have not had the vision as far as technology goes so we are lagging behind a bit. Our present director is trying to get us up to speed as fast as he can and the budget will allow. It is a shame that we have been so lax in keeping up with technology. I know the demand has been there, but the cries for more has not always been answered. This is being remedied and I’ve had the priviledge of being on our committee to revise our tech plan and things are going to be changing.

    In comment to Brian: Thank you for the great article and boy have I heard every one of those excuses. We do have to weave our way around those who aren’t going to jump on the band wagon right away. Eventually they’ll come on board (I believe this too). Many times they just need to see how effective a method is before they are willing to try it themselves. Sometimes it is getting them up to speed on how to use the technology as well.

    I guess the biggest thing for me is the fact that technology integration is so beneficial to the kids and that is what why we are in education. So, it shouldn’t be so far fetched to be able to tweek a lesson plan here and there to accomodate. I know however that it is a big step when you’ve been teaching certain subjects for years to try to revamp. My grandfather was in education about the time computers started to come into the picture on a more grand scale. He felt he was too old to start getting into that so he retired. I wonder if we’ll have more like that too… Interesting thoughts! Thanks for the comments!

  3. Jen permalink
    August 5, 2006 5:24 pm

    I would like to respond on the side of a teacher. I am a young teacher and try to use as much technology as possible, however, I work at a school with only two LCD projectors for 50 teachers. We have access to the cords to connect a tv to our computer and do power point presentations. Have you ever tried using an 18″ screen in a large classroom? In order for it to be large enough for students to see, I can put three words on each slide. Why do teachers not use this technology you say? Because it is not effective. This would be perfect to use in a conference room with 10 people, but not in a classroom with 30 students. When you get frustrated, try visiting some of those teachers in class as they use the resources. Or better yet, try using them in a classroom yourself! I have found that the students get frustrated when I use the tv method. However on occasions when I have been able to reserve the LCD projectors they have loved it and asked to use it again. Please don’t forget that we (as teachers) are trying to do what is best for the students. Making them frustrated by trying to see a little screen is not best for them. (I do still use the technology for labs so they can see an enlarged picture of what they are trying to see under the microscope.)

  4. Angie permalink*
    August 6, 2006 10:19 pm

    Jen:
    That would be frustrating on an 18″ screen. After all, that’s not much bigger than the screen I’m using on my computer. If my teachers only had 18″ screens I could see the frustration; however, most of our teachers have 27″ screens (some larger) and a few less kids in the room. I saw a teacher use the TV this way very successfully in his classroom and the kids didn’t complain much. No, it is not the ideal set up, but it is a start in the right direction. Plus, because we have to justify our budget to the Nth degree, if we see more teachers needing the technology, then we are more likely to get a budget to get more technology. It’s a rock and a hard place.

  5. June 11, 2007 7:09 am

    I think I’ve read something simillar a few days ago. I don’t remember where, might have been on digg.com or slashdot.

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