My Magic Wand

Technology in the classroom  isn’t magic. It won’t take a mediocre teacher and make her wonderful. Instead, I’ve seen the opposite. If you want higher order thinking going on in a classroom, you can’t just assume that a laptop and projector will do it. If you have a classroom culture of silent reading, worksheets, and independent practice, it’s going to be hard.

Many people think that just by having a computer in the classroom is “relevant”, and I’d like to address that. The technology won’t make the curriculum relevant. Period. It’s the teacher that does that. The technology makes it easier to show the relevancy, but it still all comes down to the teacher.

This also means that filling in a worksheet on the computer and having them turn it in online isn’t 1:1 teaching, either. Just projecting a screen on the white board doesn’t mean anyone is interacting with it.
I will never have a “paperless” classroom – I don’t think it can (or should) exist. It’s not realistic. I still have markers and scissors and construction paper and glue and colored pencils and staplers scattered around my room for student use. Why? Because we use them! We don’t use the same lesson or technique   we move to another subject. I use different lessons. Sometimes we make a timeline in Inspiration. Other times, we make a paper chain timeline. Just because you use a computer doesn’t mean that it’s going to automatically increase interest. They get interested at first, but when they realize that you are making them WORK, the interest wanes faster than a popsicle in August.
To sum:
Good teachers, not good tech.

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