Thursday, July 17, 2008

Journal #2

McFarlane, Sarah H. (2008). The laptops are coming! the laptops are coming!. Rethinking School Online, 22 No 4, Retrieved July 17, 2008, from

The article for this Journal was by Sahara McFarlane and is entitled “The laptops are coming the laptops are coming. In this article McFarlane talks about the impact of technology in her classroom. At first Mrs. McFarlane was all for her students receiving laptops as she believed it would close the gap between her students, but as she found it became more of a burden then a blessing “I was spending (and still spend) between one and two hours a day reading, writing, and responding to email; 15-30 minutes updating my web page; 15 minutes taking and checking online attendance; and time online to find research, music and radio commentary for my curriculum. I found I spent hours on the computer everyday, much of it when students were in the room." As Mrs. McFarlane discovered technology had taken over her students lives too. She found that her ESL students, who the laptops were supposed to help, were struggling to keep up with fellow classmates “the laptops frustrated those who struggled with reading or students just learning English who needed to hear the spoken word."

One question I had about this reading is How and where to teachers draw the line for technology in the classroom?

The answer I suppose is that teachers need to incorporate technology into the classroom where they can, but technology shouldn’t take up all of the assignments. This question is similar to the one I posed in my previous blog about technology taking over the teacher’s classroom. Teachers take a great deal of pride in the lesion plans they create, and giving the students “face time” with the teacher makes a better environment for the student and the teacher. There must be a balance between both, and the district and teacher must come to a compromise about what they want to have happen. Teachers can’t ignore technology, but districts need to understand that teachers are paid to teach, not monitor computer screens.

Another question I had about this article is; is it the responsibility of the teacher to monitor the student’s computer use?

The answer to this question is yes and no. Teachers have an obligation to the district to watch who goes on what site during class time, but at the same time a teacher watching a classroom full of students, teaching, making the points they want to communicate, and all of the other things that go on in a classroom is imposable. The district technology watchers or “big brother” as we like to call them watch the classroom computers all the time. I feel that it is the technology watchers to do most of the enforcement including shutting down student computers if they get caught doing things that are inappropriate. Districts need to understand that they can’t have one teacher being responsible for appropriate student use of computers in a forty five minute session. It shouldn’t be the teacher’s fault (i.e. being reprimanded or written up) for student computer use violations. The District should inform the teacher that the student who signed in at that time is no longer able to access the computers in the school.

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