at least it’s available, I suppose

December 17, 2007

Teachers at my school are often encouraged to use more technology in the classroom. I’ve used laptops twice this year and no one has died or broken one, but it was a close thing. Today I had a total meltdown; my LCD projector didn’t work, and then the speakers didn’t work, and the replacement speakers didn’t work, and the replacement projector ALSO didn’t work.

I think technology is hugely important for kids to learn; I show pictures, snippets of movies, interactive maps, videos, etc. But I also think it’s basically impossible to use when I teach back-to-back classes with only a one minute transition period and I have to travel from one end of the school to the other. Technology needs to be set up and tested before I try to use it with 9th graders. They don’t sit still very well. Nor do they deal well with, “Sorry kids, this isn’t working today. Get out your notebooks again!”

I didn’t deal with it very well either, to be honest. I was frustrated and disappointed and annoyed. The best part is, tomorrow I get to try again.

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“Miss! A kangaroo!”

November 16, 2007

Technically I teach “global history and geography.” So today, in lieu of a well-thought out lesson, I did half a well-thought out lesson and half an episode of Planet Earth.

I thought it might be too dry and British for the kids. Not everyone likes to watch sand dunes, after all. (The “dry” thing wasn’t a desert joke, sorry.) But no! They were totally excited and engaged and asked to watch more next week. I teach inner-city kids with no concept of “jungle” or “mountain.” I’m going to show lots of clips of lots of different episodes over the next few weeks. And it’s going to be awesome.