Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Oct 05 2006

LCD projectors, DVD’s and overheads

Today in my lunch period while my mentor teacher was frantically helping me get ready for the period of crazy algebra boys she told me how impressed she was with my use of multimedia and the LCD projector.
I’m connected to my LCD like it’s my baby. If I had to list one of the top ten most essential pieces of my teaching it would be my LCD. If someone even so much as looks at it and tries to take it away I’ll go crazy.
I don’t even want them to know how useful it is.
Another teachers gave me tons of useful materials on his flash drive. My life is powerpoints and notes up on the LCD. I have to change my seating chart frequently because of new students and behavior issues. I love just putting that up as they come in. One day when the boys were crazy I just put up a projection of some questions I asked them.
“What are our big goals?”
“How are we doing?”
What could you be doing better?

I love using the test generator to make my do nows. I know that my do nows are aligning to test questions if I pull them right out of the generator. Plus the easy planner has endless problems to put up for the students. If I’m running out of life and I need to stay face forward they have many more problems.
In the old days kids were more respectful. It was actually possible to stand at a board and have them watch you. I don’t know exactly how technology is affecting the students but it must be both positively and negatively. People complain that students have video games, internet, televisions, I pods, etc, etc etc. They multitask like you wouldn’t believe. I kind of just give up sometimes on what they might be doing all at once in my class.
Does all this stimulation make them incapable of reading a textbook in my class? Does it make them incapable of sitting still while I write something on the board? I have no idea really if the technology in the world creates radical changes in the behaviors and attitudes of children. All I know is that if you hang out with older teachers all they can talk about is how bad kids are these days. I think that I was only a kid 5 years ago.
Certainly if technology has been part of the changing moral fabric of our society that led to part of the problem, it can help me fix it.
Putting my ADHD trouble maker in charge of clicking the powerpoint keeps him out of trouble.
Using the LCD projector lets me face forward, look them in they eyes and just dare them to throw paper around my room.

And maybe in a less depressing way, technology can help me explore ideas and keep them engaged so that they don’t even want to misbehave. It’s a horrible spiral though. I’m too exhausted by behavior to work on great lesson plans and the boring lesson plans cause misbehavior.

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    Learning more about life than math…

    Las Vegas Valley
    High School

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