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Monday, January 9, 2012

We want you to use technology, BUT . . .

These days, I'm constantly hearing people talk about the importance of technology in the classroom.  As teachers, we're told that we should be using technology to make our lessons more engaging.  Prospective employers of our future grads are complaining because students don't know how to fill out a simple online.  (Never mind the fact that they can figure out how to hack the school's proxy so they can get on Facebook and Twitter, they still can't fill out an online job application correctly.)  Colleges complain that incoming students don't know how to do a simple web search for reliable and credible information (i.e. NOT Wikipedia). 

From administrators, college education professors, and curriculum directors, we're constantly being informed about new and exciting technologies that we should be using in our classroom:  There's so many great new things in technology that would enhance your classroom.  We expect you to be learning how to use these websites or software.  Keep a classroom blog.  Post your lesson plans online.  Tape your lessons and post them on YouTube so your students can go back and watch them if they need to.  Create a classroom website.  Have your students submit their papers online through a plagiarism-checker.  Keep track of students grades and attendance virtually.  Use the graphing calculator program online.  

Except . . .

We can't guarantee it's actually going to work.

Sure we want you to take your students to the computer lab to work on a really cool project using that amazing website that you found, but . . . you see the internet isn't working today, and it probably won't be working the rest of the week.  You'll have to come up with other plans even though the lab is booked solid until the end of the semester.  Sorry about that.

Image c/o

I understand that your school-issued laptop is nine years old and is completely out-dated, but we're requiring you to use this online grading system that is not at all compatible with your computers software and will probably cause it to crash every ten minutes.

Speaking of crashing, I'm sorry that your hard drive has crashed twice this week, but we're just going to wipe it clean and try again.

Here's a classroom set of laptops to pilot that new online learning system for your students.  Did I mention that only half of them work?  Yeah, you'll have to figure out some way around that.  And, by the way, we reset all the passwords over break so NONE of your students will actually be able to log in until they've gone through this thirty-minute process of creating a new password.  Once they've done that, about two-thirds of them will actually be able to log in.  The rest will have to call IT and have them figure out what's wrong.  And . . . once you get everyone logged in ad working, the internet is going to stop working.  So, make sure you have a back-up plan.

I just can't seem to figure out why so many teachers are stubborn and refuse to use technology in the classroom.  They must just not like change.


  1. Gosh, I could have written this post! What kills me is that our kids in my school have so much tech access at home, and half have smart phones in th eir pockets but we're not allowed to let them be used at school. There really is a TON of great things to be done with tech, but something has got to give or teachers are going to give up!

  2. Oh I feel for you! Technology can be soooo frustrating, especially when it's old and slow.

  3. I'm with you, Andrea. Thank goodness I work in a district that truly does embrace technology and doesn't pressure us to use it. We don't usually have all those problems you speak of. But for how long...