From the time I left the public school classroom in 2000 to when I re-entered the classroom in 2009, I saw dramatic changes in the use of technology (computer/electronic stuff – not just an item used to facilitate learning) in the classroom as well as in education overall. We definitely destroyed a lot of trees!
I was horrible at keeping grades in tiny columns and asked if I could do mine on a spreadsheet. The answer was yes, but I had to submit both! No white out was allowed. My grade book had so many corrections!
A little over a year later I took a one year grant position as a literacy specialist. I taught reading as a resource pull-out program and conducted professional development presentations every six weeks. All record keeping was by hand. Presentation were like reinventing the wheel every time. A huge campus wide literacy fair was held in the spring and all promotional materials, etc. might as well have been chisled out of stone.
As a developmental reading lecturer at UTB from 2002 to 2005, most student communication was done by phone or in person. So many students were still reluctant to utilize email. Student placement was a laborious process each semester. Students assigned to the reading lab were one-on-one with a self-paced computer program.
The UTPA Coastal Studies Lab was more advanced. It was me who was lagging behind. It was there I first heard about the World Wide Web in 1995 and there where I first sent my first email. It was a fitting place for me to discover the word of digital microscopes while teaching marine science to GEARUp students and so many other cool, cool things I could use. Wow!
I got glimpses and tastes of the changes that had occurred…or so I thought...while I was at home raising babies. I was ready. I’d done consulting work, I’d been a volunteer in my children’s classroom. I knew about the Internet and email and accelerated reader. How much could have possibly changed in only nine years?
Everything! I walked into an exciting (not at first) new world. From the moment I asked, “Where is the teacher sign in sheet?” and I was told there wasn’t one, I knew I was in for a world of learning. Electronic attendance, document cameras and teacher laptops in every classroom, interactive white boards, computer labs and so much more. Amazing.
While there are challenges like blocked sites, downed servers, and gliches around every click the ideas and learning are endless.
And in this age of technology in the classroom, I am happy to report we use only a few trees now and I don’t have any use for white out!!
There is so much learning going on and the potential learning is endless.
When I was 14 -years-old, I made this PowerPoint presentation, and I invited my parents into my room and gave them popcorn. It was called 'Project Hollywood 2004' and it worked. I moved to L.A. in January of 2004. Emma Stone
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