Technology, circa 1995?

14 Sep

After spending 4 hours this morning getting my required webpages for Algebra 2/Trig and Functions/Trig up, I know there must a better, faster, more efficient way! Really, the sites are so clunky to look at and uploading files requires such an old version of Java that my computer yells at me daily to update! Loading java means I can get a cup of tea and still have to wait, the actual file upload is fairly fast depending on the time of day. The site has a Facebook-esque feel (and I don’t Facebook) and the Administrative team is “grading” us! Grading rubric includes

  • Having a picture related to the subject
  • Course description and course syllabus
  • Announcements created at least weekly
  • Upcoming events posted
  • Use of Web 2.0 tools

Most of this is just fine, it is what I do anyway. We are a sort-of technological school. Well, we at least have Project Lead the Way and a kick-butt Robotics Club. But we are also the School for the Performing Arts (we are getting a new auditorium after 40 years!) and the top-rated high school football player goes here. But looking at the list of requirements, is it what is important to students, and will they use it? I think the most important items for students to have electronically are class notes and class handouts (for when they lose ’em). Our Web 2.0 tools consist of a blog option, online quizzes, and a discussion board. I have tried all three to a huge flop. So, why spend my time working on “check-box” items that the students will not use? I am not.

Speaking of sort-of technological … how about my classroom?

IMG_0745

Yep, that is my wanna-be SmartBoard you see. One of my students said it was a ghetto-SmartBoard.  And a parent at Back to School Night asked if I was going to get a real one?  I had one and I was good with it. Colleagues came to me for help. And then I had an opportunity to move to a bigger room downstairs tucked away in a corner out of the fracas. I was supposed to get a portable SmartBoard, but it, like quite a few in our school, was broken. So improvisation. What you see is 3 pieces of white paper with a purple-duct-tape border. I use my laptop, which has SmartNotebook, and a Watcom Bamboo tablet and off we go. I also have a document camera.

Not writing on a board is challenging, but being able to move around the room is awesome! Usually I perch on a stool upfront with my seating chart (I don’t know names yet), but I have been known to wander and lean against the back wall. Being flexible is just part of the job of being a teacher (thank you Honest Soul Yoga)!

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