Monday, June 11, 2007

Using Technology EFFECTIVELY

This presentation is pretty interesting. However, in reading through the website's other support materials, I didn't find a satisfactory answer to my primary concern about using interactive technology in my classroom: MANAGEMENT.

- Why would students want to use THEIR stuff to do work? (Someone's paying for those phone minutes or text messages.)

- What will prevent them from blowing off the assignment and playing instead of working?

- For wikis or blogs especially, how can I balance between hands-off administration (which can result in nasty and inappropriate stuff being posted) and reading every.single.thing that they post?
In the presentation, there are slides that say "If you can't teach them directly/Teach them with podcasts!" My husband noted that this was the battle cry back when educational videos first started coming out. Same thing applies: if you can't teach your students in person, what IN THE WORLD makes you think you're going to be able to teach them when you're not even there?!

I've noticed that if I use a video without interaction to discuss and reflect on what we watched, the students tune out entirely. It's "just a video" and therefore must not be important. We need to move past the ball-and-chain of technology=entertainment. And I'm not sure how to do that - because, let's face it. Wouldn't YOU rather play than work?


mrschili said...

There's a lot of pressure on educators, from elementary schools on up (I teach at a junior college), to entertain students.

While I certainly agree that there are a lot of ways to make most material engaging and interesting, I don't feel that it's my responsibility to keep my students ENTERTAINED. Learning isn't always play - sometimes, it's work - and it's important work to be able to do.

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