Last week I made a quick comment on twitter “I get so frustrated with student apathy. I try everything to get them involved in class and there is a large # that refused to try.” It was nice to get responses from teachers who are feeling the same pain. Think that was the main reason for the tweet, I really wasn’t looking for advice. Not because I know all just because there are some moments you just want to hear from others. This sweet tweeter though was trying to help and asked “Have you tried integrating technology?”
Ok that stopped me. I have never been asked that question before. I have a MEd in Educational Tech and completed all my courses & wrote thesis for EdS in same, so technology is my thing. It is part of my passion. So this question has really been just stuck in my brain for a week now. There are numerous reasons:
1. I integrate tech when I can. I do not teach at a 1:1 school and my students do not have equal access outside the school walls. We are in a new school with labs that are only free one day a week (which I am not complaining about, just giving the FYI) I have 7 laptops in my classroom, 2 the OS refuses to connect to the wifi, one desktop, and today I received 5 digital cameras. I have a Promethean board and a doc camera. SO I have tech all around me. Kids use what they can, they try, I try. Without 1:1 you can pump technology all around, but is it still enough? I am not satisfied that it is.
2. Technology is not the end all, be all. Students do not always need technology. They can be totally involved without. Give kids a huge sheet of paper and markers, promise. We need to stop putting all of our eggs in this tech basket. What if we trip and fall and all the eggs spill? Now what?
We need to take on the mindset of what can I do to benefit my students? What is something engaging and challenging? If it uses technology, wonderful, if not, it is OK.
And yes I did say a number of my students were apathetic, but really I was just whining and it was toward a certain bi-weekly assignment. Kids who did not do that, did their blogs or participated in discussions or read the material I assigned. I say this on here time and again, all kids learn differently. We need to make sure we are reaching them in a way they can learn, not always the way that we feel comfortable.