We live in an era where the technology makes increasing progress day after day. And, as a future teacher, I think it is my responsibility to stay updated on any new tool that could improve the quality of the students’ learning experiences.
I recently had the chance to use a popular teaching tool in my practicum 1 as I was doing my first teaching activity: the Smart Board. Since I had never pictured myself teaching while using anything else than a simple chalk and chalkboard, I never really paid attention to what the Smart Board and other technologies had to offer. However, as my activity went on, I was surprised of how it simplified the task that I wanted to do.
I must say, I consider myself only “okay” with computers. I witnessed or heard about many teachers’ stressful moments caused by a misunderstanding of a program or tool like the Smart Board. This is why, as I started my activity with the Smart Board, I was minded and prepared to fight against any machines’ rebellion. I didn’t need to! I was actually impressed that my freak out moments lasted not more than 2 seconds, mostly because they did not take more than 2 seconds to fix.
However, even if teachers can easily get excited about it, the use of Smart Boards, as Mark Miller said during his lecture last Tuesday, it shouldn’t exceed 10% of a teacher’s actual teaching time.
But, along with the fact that they are time-savers and easy to use, I found about some other situations where the Smart Board could be useful. http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Integrating_Technology_In_K12/SmartBoards_in_a_Classroom
Although I have been bragging about my brilliant talent with the Smart Board since the beginning of the article, I do realize that there are serious downsides that come along with the tool. I read a blog article posted by a high-school teacher that I found interesting even though I do not agree on some of his opinions. http://larrycuban.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/we-dont-need-smart-boards-we-need-smart-people-jerry-brodkey/
His point was basically that Smart Boards are not necessary to give students good education. I agree with him, but my view of things is that as a teacher, my job is to make sure that students are learning as much as possible during my class. If Smart Boards can help me create an interactive setting to my classes, well, I’m more than open to receive that help, although it is not “necessary”. In fact, this article makes me realize that there are still fears towards technology in the teaching profession. Sure, technology could be scary at first sight, but when you learn how to use and control it, you can take advantage of it. Driving a car can easily be scary when you first learn it right? But don’t you still use it to get to work or to school faster every day? Like driving, technology is something that will help teachers getting from the point A to the point B faster and in a more efficient way with their students.