Today my sister was siting beside me watching what I was doing. I have internet tabs open and four other tabs open to other places on my computer. She was watching me make up a fake blog for my ECMP project. Not only did she think that was wierd, but was rather disgusted that I was making a classroom website for students to interact with. Her opinion was that computer use should be minimal in the classrooms and if students have homework at school that require computers how are they going to do it at home? I explained to her that most classrooms have several computers available for use and that computer time is allotted for during the school week. Furthermore, the number of students who do not have access to internet of some sort is diminishing daily and if a student does not have computer access at home they certainly do afterschool at school or the library. Growing up, it was often difficult for us to do computer homework. In fact, it wasn’t until this past summer that my parents finally had satelite put in for highspeed at our farm. It was always dial-up before and painstakingly slow.
My sister could not understand teachers and students wanting to use computers in the classroom because she could care less and would almost prefer no computer use at all, unless it was for typing up assignments. I explained to her about authentic education and teaching in ways that reach students and their interests. Using technology in a classroom in this day and age I believe is critical to teaching authentically. Student are interested by technology and its familiar to them. I have seen the difference in students when they are able to use computers in some way during the school day.
I informed my sister that while we might still be considered to be part of the generation of students that I would be teaching, the technological generation is much shorter and that the classroom is no longer what it was when we went to school. It goes to show how fast things are changing in the course of five to ten years. It is sometimes difficult to keep up and by the time we think we have caught up we are once again behind.