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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Only my opinion, but would never buy anything but an Apple. I hope you have used one recently, if not give it a go, I think you will be amazed.
I hate to argue with you, but there is no need for "add ons with a Mac, everything you need it there. And for those teachers with computer fear, they are powerful and much easier to use. One example, is iMovie vs MovieMaker. No comparision. I don't know what kind of Mac you are talking about for 3800, but holy moly! A powerful MacBook is about 1200 and have everything you need including software. I think if you start looking at what the Leaders in Educational Technology are using (David Warlick, Wesley Fryer, Will Richardson, Alan November, Bernie Dodge, etc) you will discover they us Mac.

OK, enough of this pointless argument. Basically it should NOT be about the technology, it should be about the learning.
Indeed, from the rarified position of decision makers who are thmselves spread too thin, "teaching with technology" and "learning with technology" are indistinguishable. It may also be difficult for them to distinguish legitimate pedagogical trends from edubabble, but that is another story. Much like large scale educational change, it seems there is a core good idea, which is then implemented in a fractured, piecemeal and partial fashion, and left for others to make sure the implementation runs smoothly.
On the one hand, I cannot blame anyone for doing what they think is the best version of the Right Thing to Do given budgetary restrains and logistical issues. On the other, it frustrates me that concerns from the frontline are sometimes perceived as "whining" when all that is being requested are the right tools to do the job.
"The keyboards are too big for the students' hands and they have too much trouble typing in their password."

"I can't find the programs I want to use so I've given up"

"The students make so much noise they can't hear my instructions"

"It's always booked when I want to use it."

These came at different times during my career but I've always found them somewhat amusing. The best one, though, is:

"Every time I look into the lab, only two or three monitors are working and I have 25 students."
My teachers have a legit. excuse: "I wish we HAD a computer lab!"
I just did a full day staff development for a town in Kansas (Greensburg) that was totally and I mean totally destroyed by a tornado last May. The folks are mostly living in Fema trailers and their school is a series of portable classrooms right now. They all deserve a medal, but the one thing I did learn was the tornado had nothing to do with their technology skills. It was clear to me that they were using very little technology before the tornado and now every teacher has been given a tablet and there are numerous carts for them to use and every high school student has a tablet. The thing that amazed me was they made no excuses that day. They just tried hard to learn what they could in the time we had. I commend them, but, I also have to consider the before tornado time, it is clear that the kids in the district were being cheated, As Brian says "I wish we HAD a computer lab." Well they have plenty of technology now, but integrating its use is another matter.
Too many teachers hear the word technology and run. I think the root of the problem is teacher education programs. Most older teachers never had classes about using technology in education and current offerings in most education schools are pretty lame. Yes, teachers are shown how to make an iMovie and given some tips on making a webpage, but not shown how to integrate these (basic) tools into the classroom. Even for those who see value in it, the time component makes it seem overwhelming. The key is to just get people to start using the tech. I've gotten some of the teachers at my school on board with the things I use regularly in my classroom (google docs, youtube and teachertube, google earth, etc) and those who have tried them out now can't imagine teaching without them.
"Too many teachers hear the word technology and run. I think the root of the problem is teacher education programs."

Yup, you hit the nail on the head. I teach technology integration in a teacher education program. confident that I am teaching integration, but then when they move on to other education and method classes, the brakes come on. Too many traditional teachers in most other classes. Generally, I believe students experience the worst examples of teaching when they go to college than anywhere.

I am outside the box for sure and am cutting edge, actually, being on the bleeding edge almost cost me tenure. It is a frustrating atmosphere for sure. Last year I was teaching a section of a Gen Ed course called Technology in Society. Could have been a really interesting and interactive course. I was in a classroom with and LCD so I used my laptop daily, but it was in a traditional classroom with chairs in a row. Grrr...... Talk about being out of my comfort zone.... So I to can't imagine teaching without technology.

The problem is "Professors" have to just start using tech, but the wheel of change turns slowly that the university level.
"'feed' their egos" totally the ego thing makes me nuts on my campus.
I'd love to hear about your technology integration course. I'm sitting at my laptop right now putting together a proposal for a course in teaching with technology (I came across this community in my research). I've given a few presentations on the topic so far and have had a pretty good response based on my follow up surveys, but the only people who respond to my online surveys are into tech already. I still feel like I'm not really selling it to certain groups of teachers (i.e. - those who only use computers to check email or ebay)
For some great technology integration workshops, I took an "Intel: Teach to the Future" class 2 years ago, and lately LoTi (Levels of Technology Implementation). Intel focuses on the "how to integrate", and LoTi focuses on teacher comfort levels and upping the amount of technology usage in the classroom. What opened my eyes on LoTi is a survey I gave my teachers online, and boy, was I surprised to discover just how high the comfort level of my high school teachers were, and just how low that same comfort level was with my grade school staff. Low meaning e-mail & their online gradebook was the extent of their technology usage, and that was only because they are required!
I'd be happy to share course information with you. Here are a couple of ning sites that I have used in pasted semester for discussion of topics in my classes. I think you will get some ideas there. You might also want to access my online syllabi for my courses. I am just now putting this new semester class together and please join us in our discussion on Ning. I use Moodle for content of the course and have discussion using Classroom 2.0. It is so cool, because REAL classroom teachers participate in the discussion.

To access Syllabi online: http://www.fhsu.edu/syllabus/
TECS 290 Introduction to Instructional Technology-- Danner-Kuhn
TECS 390 Instructional Technology for Elementart Teachers-- Danner-Kuhn

TECS 290 Classroom 2.0 site for summer http://dannerkuhntecs290summer07.ning.com/
TECS 390 Classroom 2.0 for Fall Instructional Technology for Elementary

And here are the links to the new upcoming semester. Please join in the discussions. Classes do not begin until Jan 16, so not much there at the moment.
TECS 290 http://spring2008tecs290.ning.com/
Tecs 390 http://spring2008tecs390.ning.com/

We will also have weekly video conferences, feel free to join in, notices will be posted at our Classroom 2.0 site.



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