Technology in the Classroom?

This is not the post I meant to write. I have lots of garden “stuff” I have been meaning to cover but…

My husband and I were discussing the local school’s current drive to add as much technology in the classroom as they can squeeze in. This is not in any way going to be a complaint about the school. I think we have one of the best schools around. We talk all the time about how we would home school if not for the quality of our little local school. Still this technology thing is very interesting.

The teachers are always going to conferences to learn new ways to incorporate technology into their teaching. All the classes have smartboards (glorified overhead projectors for us old people). Every high schooler has a school supplied laptop. There are currently three computer labs including one for the elementary who also have a computer in each classroom. Plus there is a strong push for all the elementary children to be given tablets.

Other than doing home work on their computer, research, testing, and what not, what are the ideas for using technology in the class room?

The latest is for teachers to send out home work reminders to students on twitter. Call me old school, I am, but what was wrong with writing these things down in their planners?  Doing that at least teaches them to be responsible.  I am not sending my child to school to learn to tweet.

If technology is so important, and it definitely is, why not teach the students real practical uses for it?

Short of teaching them all to use Linux they could learn to program, install software, and get rid of viruses. You know, real computer stuff? Most of the students don’t even know the most basic computer repair. You know, the reboot.

One reason for this lack is readily visible. None of these things are required on state tests. Not the schools fault. They have to teach to fit state requirements. Besides who would teach it? The teachers, great though they are, don’t know how to do any of these things.

Then there is always the money issue. The school has been running on fumes for a long time now and recent budgets cut have only made it worse. School staff haven’t received noticeable raises in years. Yet due to grants there is no shortage of money to buy more computers and technology. It is very nice that people want to help schools out monetarily but all the computers in the world aren’t going to do any good without teachers. I have suggested that perhaps paying the electric bill to keep those computers running could count as technology. The grant writers have their doubts.

So while we are still not home schooling our child will definitely be getting her technology lessons at home.

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