I’ve just returned from my placement for teacher education. It’s at a private school. One of the school’s strengths is its use of physical manipulative tools. For the resources that it has, however, there is an incredible lack of technology. There are no SMART boards, no ELMO’s. There are two computers in the classroom, and one in the hall (the office computer). The students use these computers often, but usually only to work on typing skills. Sometimes they are required to research information, but the teacher will have web pages already designated.
I wonder often about these students’ backgrounds. Their parents pay for their tuition, this being a private school, but I don’t know the kind (or amount) of exposure that the students have to technology otherwise. I mean, many of the students love to tell me about their video games, but what about the technology that I’m learning about? Websites, blogs, wikis…do the students know about these too?
I know that the students use word processing programs often, but I’m not sure of their knowledge regarding powerpoint or excel worksheets. I wonder if the students are exposed to photoshop. I wonder if these students are put at a disadvantage.
From my own experience, I find that my more tech-savvy teachers tended to be the ones that were better “put-together”. They gave me confidence that they knew what they were talking about–and better yet, could represent the information in multiple ways. For all of the headaches that I’ve experienced with technology, it still has a pivotal role in my future classroom. The resources that it spurs, the multiple learning mediums that it encompasses, and the efficiency that it is capable of makes technology a tool and not a burden for the classroom.