First, I find it totally ironic that as our school is a stone's throw away from Research Triangle Park with Cisco, Sony Ericsson & IBM, our hardware consists of 3 LCD's, 3 wireless carts with 18 laptops each, and several smartboards that are rarely used. If we have more I don't know of it. Our computer lab was transformed into a CTE classroom, so the 30 desktops in the media center are we go if we have a lesson that would outlast the batteries in the laptops. Teachers don't blog (or at least that I know of, so what's the point?), I plan to (finally) wiki but am a rarity. No podcasts, no use of voicethreads. For example, if I mentioned "go to the ning I'm setting up" there would be a handful of folks, a far cry from the 70+ faculty & admin.
Second, Where does the money for all the stuff you guys have come from, and how do I start convincing whoever can bring us truly into the 21st century, that they should? Our school is by and large in an affluent area of town, but there is no demand from parents that their kids be incorporating global tools on a regular basis. I know so little, and I feel that most staff thinks I know so much more than they do.

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Your school sounds like all the rest of us, but you certainly have enough hardware to do anything you want. Get the smartboard for your classroom and get started!!
Definitely agree with Nancy - start where you are. No one can change a whole school at once. Enlist your kids and get them to help you, and then the word of what you do will spread.
You can do many things, set up wikis, join projects, display your kids' work, explain the communities that form as kids work with other kids in projects over the Internet, use the tools yourself and with the kids, and slowly (my bet) the other teachers will notice you, as well as a few parents. It has been a slow road in my school, but this coming year we will have six blogging classrooms, and two title 1 blogging kid groups -- it took two years to go from one class to this number. Even if the others don't join you, well... enjoy being the trend setter! -- Terry
Vee, a compelling topic, and so good to see some of our oldest friends here on CR20 replying to you.

Can you imagine that this community is what 18 months old? We now have 10,400 members, which is an incredible for any profession, and perhaps moreso for education. Yet there are 6 million teachers in the US, and this is a global community! There are more than 10,400 school districts in the country!

Anyway, I like the positive answers you received, and I hope you'll take heart. On the other hand, don't get too excited that you may be behind--I don't think any school anywhere is yet in the 21st century, as the educational content is nowhere available. Yes, we have some nice tools. But when it comes to real transformational educating power, we're not much beyond 1995. Its easier to chat and write online to the world...but you could do those before. You can do research easier--but middle and high school are only partly about learning to research. You can communicate in lots of multi-media ways, ...but it takes deeper learning to come to the point of having something worth communicating.

If you have 10% who can "go to the ning", that's not bad...I'm still explaining cut and paste.

So, enjoy the ride!
Hi Vee,

I agree with the others who have responded. You should view the fact that you school has technological resources that are not yet oversubscribed as a boon that is probably temporary.

If you are getting excited about Web 2.0, (etc), you should (calmly) locate one of the smartboards and (without stirring up too much excitement in the teachers' lounge) volunteer to try it out in your classroom. Same with one of the wireless carts. If there is an (nearly empty) laptop cart signup book somewhere, just sign out the cart once a week or so for the whole year.

What grade/subjects do you teach? If you tell us more, I bet others can share many ideas for using your technology riches.

The bottom line is that technology often comes into schools unannounced and unappreciated but eventually becomes oversubscribed and scarce. Teachers who decide to be early adopters can sometimes enjoy almost exclusive use for a short time, and develop a good sized bag of instructional tricks.

Your cup is definitely more than half full, so enjoy and explore!
Jay, you cracked me up with "you should (calmly) locate one of the smartboards and (without stirring up too much excitement in the teachers' lounge) volunteer to try it out in your classroom". You can tell you've had some experience "integrating" equipment into your program!

I've said it a dozen times before, I think ALL the resources should go to the teachers who use them. The kids will get on board and hopefully will convince subsequent teachers to get on board.
Back in the day.... we called it "work with the living"!
Vee - I definitely agree with the others. Your school seems to be in the majority from your description. Also, to echo what they've said, start locally in your classroom with your students. Become a model for others to see. Once students start talking about what they're doing in your class, it's not uncommon for others to start following.

I'm allocated a school-based technology budget on a yearly basis based on our school's enrollment. I usually collect input from teachers as to their needs and use my budget to work towards those needs. We also are allocated some hardware from our central technology office based on needs we identify. The dollars aren't there for everything so I try to get the things that will have the greatest impact and where the need is the greatest.

Don't worry about knowing everything - no one does! And as others have pointed out, you've found CR2.0 which is an awesome starting place.

Most of all, have fun!
Thank you for all your input. I am often in awe of what I read every day - thanks for this page I discovered Pageflakes and so check in here a couple of times a day (at least for a couple of weeks til school starts). It seemed that everyone was so far ahead of me that I felt like I'd never be able to do what you all are doing in your classes. But... I am not so discouraged now and yes, Jay, I'll *calmly* track down the Smart Boards and *quietly* sign out an LCD. The voicethreads thing is really on my mind, then epals, and nings, and..... . Thanks to all!



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