System Overload: Teachers with Technology
November 6, 2014 • 473 views
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Having the iPads for school is awesome. I feel like I have been organized because of the unlimited amount of folders I can create for each subject. If someone has a question no one can answer, students can immediately look it up. If a teacher tells you a paper or outline didn’t get turned in to the right place, you can quickly open it and turn it in. Some teachers are using apps such as GarageBand and iMovie for fun in class activities, and some of the language teachers are using it for oral testing.
The only problem with all this new, great technology is that some of the teachers don’t know when it is too much.
Teachers have gone to workshop after workshop trying to learn how to use the iPads for educational purposes as well as just learning how to use technology in general. According to religion teacher Eric Buell, these workshops included learning how to use Canvas for the classroom, learning how to use iMovie for educational purposes, and learning how to use Notability effectively in connection with Google Drive. Now that the majority of the teachers know how to use all the apps that come with these new gadgets, some are becoming a little too tech savvy.
Some teachers have been pretty good with using it a reasonable amount. But now there are some classes on campus that cannot function without technology. A couple weeks ago, we were not able to get on to Google Drive because the server crashed. That day was chaos in class because no one could do anything. Whether it was a PowerPoint or a worksheet, practically nothing could be done in class. Although this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, it just goes to show that technology is too important to the school now. Some teachers were perfectly capable of running their class that day, but others acted as if the world was ending.
Until then, I hadn’t realized how much we use technology at Presentation these days. Some of my teachers, I feel, have done a good job of incorporating these new gizmos into their old curriculum. Buell said, “My class is based on the Gospel of Christ. I am using technology to advance the Gospel of Christ, just as I would use a pencil to advance the Gospel.”
Others, I feel, have decided to move everything to digital. Although my life does not feel as cluttered with all the stray papers, sometimes it is nice to have some paper. Junior Purnima Seshadri said, “For certain classes it’s easier when we have actual handouts to study from. And sometimes teachers forget to put material on the drive, so we don’t have it.”
On top of maybe losing a study guide or two, my eyes hurt from looking at screens all day. Yes, I know we all have phones that we look at, but we don’t stare at our phones for hours on end, all day, every day. On top of our eyes hurting from lack of sleep, they are now hurting from excessive screen use as well.
Also I feel some forms of technology are being utilized more than others. iMovie has become a very popular project creator in the eyes of teachers. They assign iMovies for students to teach each other about topics. Again, it’s great that teachers are trying to make good use of these new iPads, but sometimes we feel like guinea pigs for new educational tactics. Oftentimes, iMovie isn’t actually helping us learn the material at all. It’s just one more thing to do for homework.
Some students also feel that a screen is acting as a barrier in class as opposed to a window. “I think there is more of a disconnect between teachers and students,” said Junior Zoe Martin. “Because the notes are on the drive, the students are connecting more with their iPads than with their teachers.”
This is not a matter of students being critical of the progress that teachers have made with integrating the new tech into their curriculum, because using technology to advance education is a great use of resources. But please, for the sanity of the students, calm down with the technology.