Okay, I spoke to a teacher yesterday that had a great excuse for NOT taking her kids to the computer lab:

"It takes 7 minutes to get there. If it takes seven minutes in both directions, that is 14 minutes out of the day. Too much time wasted!"

So, that leads to today's contest:

What is the best excuse you have ever heard from a teahcer NOT to use technology?

(Posts will also be mirrored on my blog site: tinyurl.com/vp9ta)

Tags: and, excuses, learning, teaching, technology

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Hey, this one is true!
"It's just another thing added to everything else I have to teach" Many "core" teachers just don't get that you USE technology to teach the content you're already teaching! If we could just get past that misconception.............of course, if the teachers don't know how to use the technology, we run into the question of who is responsible for teaching the teachers? In my experience, many classroom teachers DON'T have the time in their workday to do the mass amounts of exploration that we do. I suspect that most members of CR2.0 are like me in that we spend a lot of our free time doing this. Now if we could get every school in every district in the US to have a technology (NOT tech support for hardware/software) liason (sp?), we'd be on the right track. That's my dream job!
I completely agree with your 12 month suggestion. Our staff development time is completely inadequate and when questioned, any administrator in the country will cite budget issues. Don't want to go THERE now, though. I've tried explaining (and have converted several) that it would SAVE time for teachers and students if students were to use blogs for daily reflections and writing assignments rather than notebooks or printing off papers. This is what I do in my class and it is SO much faster (www.mrsolson.edublogs.org). I'm currently only teaching 1/2 time (7:30-11:30), but spend at LEAST 4 hours/day at home on all the fun stuff I'm finding...........I guess we're just lucky that we love what we do!
I'd like to see a better distribution of time throughout the year, move the schooling from following that agrarian path to something in this century. I'd like to see things change in regards to PD, something that had each teacher with a growth plan in different learning areas: teaching, classroom management, differentiation, technology, specific subjects. The teachers would extend their work day and various time slots would be devoted to PD. It would fit well with also allowing for extra-curricular. With this, of course, would have to be an adjustment of salary but it is feasible. Also, I'd like to see a different system for grading where students could move seamlessly between subjects, not having to worry about obtaining complete grades but having to accomplished particular learning objectives. I'd also like to see dedicated individuals that would be assigned to assist teachers with unit development - helping them with assessment techniques, differentiation, technology and other things plus a full-time community liason person in each school that was trained in some type of social work who would be able to work with children on some of the human relationship things that can eat up a teacher's time.
The adjustment in salary would be needed to compensate, I hope Kelly was not suggesting a decrease.
Yes, but folks in the corporate world are paid well.

I do not know a teacher that does not spend as many hours outside the work day preparing for class, grading papers, helping students, etc. etc. None of us would be writing in the space if it was not for a teacher. It never ceases to amaze me how much we pay a professional athlete and how little we pay teachers.

I think we need to take Congress, Senate, President, Governors, politicians and dump them in a public school classroom and let them teach for a bout two weeks and do EVERYTHING a teacher does, including learning to integrate technology and then talk about salaries, staff development, working conditions.

Folks outside the profession don't really understand it. It would be like me telling a doctor or lawyer how to do their job.
Sometimes internet is available sometimes not. Its wastage of time.
Here is one that is semi-legit, though the admin doesn't get it. We have Smartboards in several rooms - the rolling ones, so they can be shared between rooms. We also have a few projectors in other rooms. The directive was for ALL faculty to plan to use technology in the classroom, and everyone was given a laptop.
But not all classrooms have the technology, so a faculty that was initially enthusiastic became disheartened - at some time or other everyone has experienced planning a tech-based lesson, only to find that they don't have access to the technology on that day!
The result? Several teachers have thrown up their hands and declared that if they can't count on the technology, they will build their lessons assuming they won't have it. Then they get chastised for not using their laptops effectively for instruction...
"The beatings will stop when morale improves."

It is interesting to note that slowly administrators and teachers are changing their ideas of how to get the best out of technology in our schools. Instead of putting all funds into buying more technology tools etc, they are now realizing the need to put some of the funding towards PD for their teachers when it comes to new technologies.
Your description seems to be typical. For some stupid reason "they" think that if you put the laptop in the hands of a teacher that magically technology will get used. Seems to me the place to start in a district is laptop AND LCD projector in every classroom. If teachers were able to begin with that kind of access, their class presentation and teaching would begin to change and they will be more prepared for the time when every student has a laptop. In education, we so very often put the cart before the horse.
I guess I see two things here that I run into often as there are attempts to use technology. First, it appears that the goal is technology
"The directive was for ALL faculty to plan to use technology in the classroom, and everyone was given a laptop."
Agreed, that when technology must be "signed out" or "signed up" that it is more difficult to make it a part of what you do. To some extent this is a fact of life for schools as they work with little to no technology and try to give equitable access. So to this end, I would wonder what training was offered to faculty and as indigo196 asked, what systems were in place?
The second thing that I see is that the technology purchased seems to be for the faculty to use. My take on reading this, and I could easily be wrong, is that the teachers were directed to use the technology. I see hints of this in the comment by Cyndi Danner-Kuhn. Personally I would gladly trade a smart board and laptop for 4-5 desktops in my room for students to use. Its nice to have a projector, I have one (and a laptop). But the student computers are what get the mileage. I agree with Cyndi that if teachers have access, then as they learn they can be more comfortable, but I have only seen real change in instruction come when kids had access daily.
I agree with you Rick, the real change comes when students have access daily. Sadly most school districts don't look at it that way. Technology seems to be a top down endeavor. The university where I teach has decided that all students beginning with incoming freshmen this year should have a laptop. Many are coming with laptops, but the wheels of change with Higher Ed faculty change slower than K-12. If I have my way, I would put a MacBook in the hands of every student and teacher and run with it from there.



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