tech less class
Yesterday, because of a schedule change, I cancelled my request for computers to three of the four classes I teach. Apparently, the office got a little over enthused and canceled the fourth order themselves. When I arrived for class, the student worker was removing the computer cart. So I had to “teach” without the computer. We had at least a little fun since I sent every student at one time or another to the blackboard to contribute to the lesson.
As I did this a thought nugget came to mind. I quickly stored it away but reflected on it later. I would never have taken the chances I took in this class letting students go to the board and write without knowing in advance what they would write when I was less experienced. In those times, I felt I had to be in control since I feared showing a lack of knowledge and control. Now I am more likely to ask for help though sometimes the younger teacher creeps back inside my skin.
This experience led me to think about my fellow teachers who struggle with getting a dvd to play in class and the frustrations when they don’t. Three things come to mind. First, making a fool of yourself in front of a classroom of students can really raise one’s blood pressure and lower one’s esteem. As a consequence, it can make a teacher reluctant to take the chance it might not work again. This reluctance can in turn result in less use of technology and return to “real teaching.”
I enjoyed my tech less class, and I think some of the students did. The review of elementary grammar went as smoothly as if we had the tech stuff. Still I will continue to use technology, but I also will try to keep in mind that some of the students really enjoyed the type of involvement engendered by having to get out of their desks and write on the blackboard and risk mistakes.
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