Samantha, It is certainly not only educators who are "being thrown into this technological world", but people in just about an profession and any school in your college or university. I am retired now for about five years, but what I used in my classroom was basic computers with sound cards and speakers, Internet access, Office suite, keyboard, mouse, monitor and printer. Scanners were not really in the classroom or labs back then. In addition, digital camera were becoming popular as well as cell phones.
Learn about all that you can and never stop learning. There will always be more coming down the road that will have a place in yhour classroom. Don't become the last teacher in the building to use the new technology. Get on board earrly!
Oh I definatly will, and I dont' think I can imagine a classroom with what you had to work with! That is amazing, we have gone over many different forms of technology so I guess I am wondering what technology is already in the schools that will be accessable for my use when I enter my classroom, or what I should expect to bring into my classroom for my students best learning outcomes...
You can expect almost any level of technology in you classroom when you begin to teach. It will depend on where you are teaching. Some states, like Virginial, are pretty much on the cutting edge in all but some inner city schools. Other states you may find the rural schools lacking. You can be sure that most suburban schools will be well-equipped.
When I began teaching with technology, there was not yet such a thing as a hard drive. You had to load the operating system via one drive, and save your work on another. When using the TI99-4A, I had to write my own programs for my students to have anything to do on the computers. Later, when I had access to the Internet at home, but the school didn't, I'd carry the downloaded email back and forth on floppies. By contrast, you will probably find yourself doing more selection for purchase, and you will have to learn to buy the basic software instead of loading up on games that will become outdated quickly. Learn to make you own software - at least in excel, flash, and html. There is online software that will let you build simple quizzes, games, and such. You may want to make yourself an html page with links to all those goodies so you know where they are later. You can even start your own website on Yahoo, and add all the goodies you find, sort them by subjects and grade level, and you will have a page ready to use in the first week!
Here is my list of "Must Haves":
1. Computer - monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, etc.
2. Scanner, printer, copier (all-in-one)
3. Digital camera
4. Document camera
5. Video projector
6. DVD player
There are a lot of other items that I could at to my wish list. However, that would keep me up for another hour or so!!
I think that some of the best technologies are free. So websites like Glogster, Animoto, Worldle, and so forth, and goldmines. That said, I would find it hard to live without my LCD projector. Using that with my laptop and a bluetooth mouse lets me do pretty much most things that an Interactive Whiteboard would do.
We all work with what we have and should be versatile enough to adapt to whatever the conditions might be. I began my career in Nigeria teaching at a boy's boarding school. Textbooks, paper, chalk and a Gestetner. I was a master at pounding out handouts on a manual typewriter and etching maps onto the flimsy masters. Back in North America I continued on with a Gestetner and spirit master. I added multi-coloured handouts to my repertoire and ruined my slacks with black ink and purple stains. Eventually the photocopier entered the picture. Naturally there were film projectors, tape recorders and eventually TVs and VCRs. In the mid eighties I used an Apple II+, upgraded to an Apple //e and began producing report cards and grade books using AppleWorks 3. Finally in the nineties I went over to the dark side and purchased a 486. It has only been in the last five years that I have truly felt the exponential rate of change.
At the moment I am teaching a split grade four and five class in a small city in Saskatchewan. Just within my own classroom I have:
Promethean ActivBoard (primary board supplemented with a white board)
Teacher's desktop (planning, student records SIRS, attendance, ActivBoard, Outlook for communication and scheduling, etc) and a networked photocopier available that makes PDFs.
Five student computers to be shared with my twenty-two students (also five that float and a lab down the hall)
Digital camera for me and four additional cameras I booked indefinitely.
I added Skype to my computer so of course there is also a webcam
There is a sound system in the room tied into the computer, projector and a DVD/VCR.
It would be nice to have 1-1 computing. You use what you have. You will have a good deal in the future. Start pushing forward with strong strokes, the waves are getting bigger and you will be riding them.