It took me four days to get on this website. Now I am by no means a tech guru, but I am confident in my skills to navigate a simple web browser. But like Prof. said in class- Technology is made by humans, who make mistakes. So technology will never be perfect.

This got me thinking, "How can I use something in the classroom that will consistently provide me headaches?" I've been a student long enough to see how faulty tech can drain an instructor's patience while simultaneously sapping the pupil's attention span. Now I plan on teaching lower elementary grades where patience and attention spans are always in short supply as it is. Why would I want to risk throwing those valuable resources away?

Well, because I think Tech can vastly increase the quality of education if the teacher knows (among many other things) how to go with the flow. I've seen lectures destroyed by uncooperative machines. But I have also witnessed lesson plan evolve around the malfunctions. The instructor is the final word on the class vibe. If students see me become frustrated, they will follow suit. But if they see me roll with the punches and maintain the energy level, they will be (hopefully) as determined to learn as I am to teach.

Technology can be a valuable tool, but it is no substitute for strong classroom management skills and a genuine concern for the students.

Views: 21

Comment by Dave Eveland on September 14, 2009 at 9:12pm
Your point about seeing a "lesson plan evolve around the malfunctions" speaks to the strength and dexterity of the teacher - adept at working with issues - that are often unplanned. Who plans for the unexpected? And you're right about letting the technology - or the mechanism for learning be the boss - it's important for students to see teachers as flexible - and as problem solvers and 'attackers' - instead of people who give in and can't think on their feet.

I whole-heartedly agree with your last statement as well.
Comment by Denis Decroq on September 14, 2009 at 9:40pm
I think it is a great opportunity to put students in a real life situation where things can go wrong.

It is probably a safe thing to pre-empty the negative with a warning such as: Guys, this is what we are going to go through today. However this is more of a real life situation than a typical class. So, if something goes wrong, we will keep trying for a maximum time of 30 minutes. If we are not able to solve our problem within this time-frame, then we will switch to a different topic.

I think this type of approach would be great for all of the students as it teaches them that failing to plan is planning to fail. I personally go for this sort of attitude when attacking new projects at the factory. And it does help.


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