Sunday, June 28, 2009

Technology usually triggers feelings of trepidation for me. I am very comfortable with the technology that I use everyday. I appreciate the ease and efficiency technology can provide. However, I am always lagging behind the tech wave. I avoided the daily email routine as long as I could, still do not have a digital camera, do not have email on my phone... all of this despite working at an Internet company for a year. Since technology information comes slower to me, I think I have been "just getting by" in the tech realm. However, I have always had a hidden ambition to learn about new technology. I am so excited to finally have a video camera to use! This class will certainly be a challenge for me, but I know the reward of becoming more tech fluent will far and away surpass the frustrations I may have in learning it. I feel so lucky to be in a course about technology by people who also study teaching. Their efforts to engage us in the topic made me feel much more comfortable about the coming course.

My ideal classroom will definitely involve technology. (So I better learn how to use it... or, even better, learn how to learn how to use it.) As a future biology teacher, I want to use technology with two objectives in mind. First, I would like to inspire the students to be curious about the world-- like all of the five-year-old biologist digging up bugs and adults watching the discovery channel. Secondly, technology is also a great way to help me with differential learning. Technology can help make theory more tangible. Also, I believe science is largely action orientated. Technology allows students to create, interact, and to engage all of the senses while learning. I think technology in a science classroom can help students become curious, learn more effectively, and understand its multiple uses in the "real world."

Here's my dream list as of now:

Laptops would be great. An HD projector with surround sound would be key. It'd be great to have it be 3-D... Any kind of lab equipment to make learner more hands on-- spectrophotometer, magnifying equipment, ect... Ecology stations with either an aquarium or terrarium and other things for students. It would be wonderful if they were self-cleaning. I'd also like desks with locking wheels. That way the desks can be in groups or rows depending on what we're doing and the class dynamics. Also, that way they could be rearranged a lot without a splitting headache for myself or future teacher neighbors. I know that idea is much more low tech, but it would be nice. I would like field lab equipment. It would be great to be able to take the kids outside for certain activities. I'm sure at the end of this class I'll have more ideas about my dream class.


  1. Hey Meghan,

    I loved the idea of self cleaning labs. I'm not sure if they have invented something like that but it would be a really useful technological advancement.;)

  2. I've been fighting some technologies too. I just got my first digital camera last Christmas and I didn't realize how much I'd love it until I got one.

    It occured to me that since you're so open to learning about it, perhaps in your future class, you can give extra credit for students who want to do an extra project where they propose a method to incorporate technology into your class. That could be a good way to motivate students to get more involved while you get to learn about technology. After all, they do seem to know more about what's available than our generation. It could be a great win-win situation.

  3. I really like what you've said here about using technology as a tool for differential learning, Meghan -- I hadn't considered that before! Thanks for helping me think about this in a new way.

  4. My sense is that part of what is informing your thinking, Meghan, is trying to get a handle on what technology might allow your students to see, or to "experience," that you might have a hard time doing yourself. I also really like the way in which you're orienting your thinking around feeding the curiosity of your students. You may even need to go back a step and thinking about arousing that curiosity. One big advantage that you can draw upon, of course, is your own experience. Yes, you're a Biology teacher, so you're more interested in these matters than most, but your passions and interests are nevertheless a powerful source of inspiration for your students, so I encourage you to reflect on those passions ("How did you get excited about biology?") and let them infuse your teaching.

  5. Meghan,

    I like your ideas of technology in the classroom and taking advantage of the latest stuff. I only wonder who would pay for it all?

  6. Hi Meghan!

    I definitely understand the feeling of "just getting by" in this technological age...I always get frustrated when students turn of their brains when they walk into a math classroom, convinced that they "don't do math", for example, but I totally have that attitude toward technology. But I also realize, like you say, that technology can be a great bridge between the classroom and the "real world". I worry that students will learn what I teach as an isolated lesson that is a requirement completely disconnected from the world and other subjects.

  7. You have a great start on your list of technology tools. For me, the most striking part of your post was your parenthetical about having to learn how to teach how to learn technology--that's another issue that we will have to keep in mind as we think about which technologies to use in our classrooms.