So aren’t we supposed to be teaching the kids?

With the new school year I’ve changed the image on the teacher stations in our 2 labs. After consulting with administration, and our Instructional Technology Coach we came up with a list of programs that should be installed on these 2 computers. One of the programs that we left off was district email and it was the first tech request for the teacher stations by the teachers. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t shocked.

If you’ve spent any time in a computer lab, it can get a little boring when your students are using the reading, writing and math programs. Although that is true, we are in the lab to increase the students knowledge, it’s another tool, it’s not the baby sitter, a substitute for the teacher. Walking around behind the students, giving them advice, seeing who is having problems is what a teacher is supposed to be doing. Yes, they can run reports on each students progress, but that is just a number, if you aren’t watching to see what they are doing, you can’t truly analyze a poor score.

So, sitting at a teacher station reading your email is not constructive use of time in a computer lab. Use it wisely and that time can actually help your students learn more. They will realistically improve on those program lessons they are doing, while they will score better on county and state mandated tests because they have had hands on training when they needed it. Being a teacher is not an easy job, but use the tools you have properly and read your email during planning, before school, or after school. Not when you can be helping your kids in a classroom setting that just happens to be a computer lab.

That’s what I think….What about you?


One thought on “So aren’t we supposed to be teaching the kids?

  1. Generally, I think you’ve got it right. But specifically, it may be that we’re looking through the wrong end of the telescope.

    Depends on the course. I had interactive, accelerated and self-paced courses for history, economics and street law set up on Blackboard. If students were zooming through the material, they should have had questions for me about every ten minutes. With 15 to 20 kids working that way, answering those questions and making suggestions on where to go next should have been a nearly full-time occupation. Students could also get to the course from outside the classroom — and their questions would come in via e-mail.

    The question is, I think, are we using the computers as an integrated part of the course, or are we using them as expensive textbooks, or other props for the course? The most effective teacher-student relationship is still a log, with the teacher on one end, the student on the other. If our computerization increases the flow of information and ideas from one end of the log to the other, great. If instead the computer is just a barrier between the student and the teacher, we’ve missed the boat.

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