Saturday, February 2, 2013

Why Aren't We Using the New Stuff?

Everyone likes getting something new.  It has a smell, feel, provides the owner with a specific emotion.  Yet, when it comes to technology, everyone wants to hide behind their PowerPoints throwing their hands up at the thought of learning a new way to present information.  Why?  If we all like new things, why aren't we devouring the new technology our world presents us with annually?

In many classrooms today, smart boards are as common as a dry erase or chalk board. Wait, chalk? What's that?  Anyway, despite having this grand new device that can do so much more than write and erase, I have found in my experiences that many teachers don't even know how to use one.  How can this be?  Why is this not part of their orientation into teaching?  I'm simply baffled at the fact that the board gets covered by a pull down screen to project a powerpoint onto. 

Furthermore, why aren't teachers required to implement a new technology annually? Many schools desire to have a well known reputation for their scholarship and academics.  Perhaps in this day and age, however, school's should also be considering becoming technologically advanced.  So many schools now offer Ipads to their students during choice times throughout the week.  With all the new apps out their, I would think that these Ipads can be used for a lot more than just choice time.  I see students scribbling with their finger or playing Angry Birds, but what about using these devices for actual instruction?  The teacher could be using one at the front of the room, porjecting its image with the ELMO doc cam, and the students could be following along on their own Ipad.  I have learned a new app every other week in my reading course that I would love to use in a classroom.  Schools should really consider attending conferences, classes, or holding a session of their own to familiarize teachers and staff of the endless possibilities to implement a very common technology in their classroom.

Lastly, I struggle greatly with the complaint of not having age appropriate technology.  In today's world, toddlers know how to use the remote, computer, and their parents' cell phones.  To complain that their is not a developmentally appropriate technology out there for little ones is false.  As previously stated, there are Ipad apps that are appropriate for youngsters, but there are also many good lessons on the internet that incorporate technology, smart boards, ebooks  and much more that would suit a Pre-K through 2nd grade environment perfectly.  I think that once again teachers must look for these resources to familiarize their students with new technology so they are not afraid to use it themselves.  Kids love doing things with thei hands, so giving them the opportunity to create is always special!

For more information on smart board lessons and games, visit SMART Exchange.

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