Wednesday, October 3, 2007

If I could turn back time...

I was interviewed and videotaped today by the district Classrooms For the Future (CFF) coach about my experiences with the technology and the change in my classroom; this will all be part of presentation our tech staff will be doing tomorrow for districts getting the CFF grant for the first time. I was asked about how it fit with the district's vision, curriculum and Learning Focused School initiative and if I'd seen any changes with the students. One question, though, has really gotten me thinking this evening: "If all of the technology was taken away tomorrow, could you go back to teaching the old way."

Could I go back to teaching in a 20th Century Classroom? Although I've forgotten the exact wording of my answer at this point in time, the gist of my response was that I can't imagine going back. When I think of the disservice I was doing to my students, I'm almost appalled at how we were getting kids ready to be citizens in this new, smaller, connected world. I was doing the only thing I had ever known: teaching like I had been taught when I was a student when the world was much larger and the Internet wasn't as accessible as it is today.

I'm thinking of a new math teacher in our building as well tonight. Dan joined us nearly a year ago now, and he mentioned in a meeting this morning how he has already transformed his teaching. He has experienced the power of the Polyvision board and seen its impact on students. He realized he was simply teaching the way he had been taught when he was in school. Dan, because of his experiences with our Polyvision Board, has already begun transforming his teaching style; in fact, he's even actively seeking out available classrooms he can teach in that are equipped under the CFF program.

It is no longer a matter of whether we can go back in time; we cannot. We have reconnected with many of our students. We have engaged them on new levels. They are THINKING and INTERACTING. We must move forward. We must make the transformation.

Could you go back? Would you? This may be a worthwhile discussion worth having.


trishia said...

Just wanted to post a hello and THANK YOU! from Sioux City, IA.

I am in college now working on my english/language arts degree after a leave. (I have five children and needed a bit of time to learn how to balance life) :)

Our community is fairly old fashioned and slow to accept new things, so I have to go online for ideas and fresh content. I love your approach to teaching English and like how you are using the technology as a tool rather than as a toy. Thanks for the ideas- keep them up, you are in my reader!

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the shout out, and I appreciate you reading! If you ever have any questions or need anything, let me know!