The occasional ramblings of a freelance lexicographer

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The wonders of technology

Well, my first lesson with my new class didn't quite go to plan ... I had a really swish lesson planned with a PowerPoint presentation, an activity using online videos and a demonstration of online resources that I wanted my students to look at for homework. Inevitably though, when I got to my classroom, a funny little basement room I'd never used before, half an hour before the start of the lesson, I discovered that although the computer worked, it wouldn't link to the big screen at the front of the class. After a bit of fiddling, I called technical support, but they didn't make it to me until halfway through the class and even then, couldn't fix the problem on the spot. So I had to do a bit of thinking on my feet!

After years of working with computer technology, I know not to rely on it 100% and wasn't too fazed. It was a shame though as it didn't quite create the impression that I'd hoped for my first class, especially with all the faffing around and interruptions from the engineer.

It does reinforce though what I often think when I go to conferences and people are extolling the wonders of new technology in the classroom. It's all well and good when it works, but all too often, it lets you down and you have to be ready with a backup plan. And if the setup at a well-equipped UK university can have glitches, I'm sure that teachers working in less supported contexts around the world must have an even greater struggle to 'keep up'.

I'm not a technophobe and I think there are some wonderful things you can do in the classroom with technology, I'm just very aware of not relying on it too heavily and always keep a couple of marker pens in my bag, just in case! Keeping fingers crossed that the problems are fixed for my next class ...

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