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« What's on your bookshelf? | Main | For your weekend reading pleasure »
Saturday
Sep222007

Give a teacher a computer

With apologies to author Laura Numeroff and illustrator Felicia Bond. The LWW brought home Mouse Cookies & More: Acookie.jpg Treasury this weekend and it started me thinking...

Give a teacher a computer

Give a teacher a computer,
    And he will want Internet access.

Give a teacher Internet access,
     And she'll most likely want an e-mail account.

Give a teacher e-mail,
    And he'll just want learning games and
more computers in her classroom. And tech support.

Give a teacher learning games,
    And she'll want streaming video.

Give a teacher videos,
    And he'll insist on an LCD projector permanently mounted in his classroom (with speakers).

Give a teacher a projector,
    And she'll ask for an interactive white board (and training and time for collaboration and resources to use with it).

Give a teacher an IWB,
    Then he wants a student response system, a wireless slate, and a document camera (and more support).

Give a teacher tech,
    And then she wants all her kids to have it too. And the skills to use it well.

We'll that's the theory anyway and it holds for lots of my teachers. I always find it amazing (and even a little frustrating) that some teachers can't get enough technology in their classrooms and give their kids enough experiences using it, while other teachers still grumble at even having to use anything more complicated than an overhead projector. And I don't think it breaks down neatly along generational lines. Perhaps those who are reluctant were frightened by a vacuum cleaner as small children.

_______________

As an aside, this comes from a travel advice column in this morning's Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper when the author comments on the actions taken by a person whose hotel reservations were lost:

I think you handled this grievance pretty well. Call the hotel was an excellent idea, and so was following up with Expedia. But you should have pinged Hyatt again...

Pinged?  First time I've seen this geeky word move from technical to general use. According to WIkipedia, the fellow who wrote the first Ping program back in '83 took the term from the sound sonar makes and only later was the acronym "Packet InterNet Grouper" devised. More than you wanted to know, I'm sure.

If you'll excuse me, I think I'll get the telephone and go ping my kids... 

 

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Reader Comments (13)

To complete the cycle:

Give a teacher tech,
And then she wants all her kids to have it too. And the skills to use it well.

Give the students tech and the skills to use it
And then they'll each want a computer...

September 23, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdiane

Diane,

Well done!

Doug

September 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Johnson

Glad to be able to use my K-12 teacher/librarian skills! What's next - Curious George Goes to the Computer Lab? Alice in Blogland?

September 23, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdiane

This is so TRUE!!! And when you've reached the highest level of give a teacher technology, and all she wants is to give it to her students as well....

I had reached that point in the storyline at my last school, but when my teachers were discouraged from using me as a resource for advancing their own skills and their students, I decided to leave. I am in a different school district, and I don't have my IWB anymore, or my mounted surround sound speakers and projector, but I have the freedom to share my skills with everyone (students, teachers, and school community) and feel much happier now, even w/o those extras that I had last year. And it wasn't about the gadgets, but instead about the learning. My former school district did not understand why I would leave such a technology rich school district, especially considering my own skill base. But it wasn't about the tools, but rather the joy I got from teaching--no matter whether to my students were kids, teachers, adults, parents, or community. I was in it to increase knowledge and scaffold right on up Blooms. Their loss, and my new school's gain. And I'm happy even though I no longer have all the cool tools I once had.

September 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCathy Nelson

Hi Cathy,

You are absolutely right about it not being about the tools, but about a mindset and teaching philosophy. You might visit my little story, Stone Soup, http://www.doug-johnson.com/dougwri/stone-soup-a-classroom-parable.html which tried to make this point.

All the best and thanks for sharing these thoughts,

Doug

September 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Johnson

Thanks for making me laugh! I related to every single line. No wonder my techs hate me. I want it all. I want my kids to have it all. I want it to work properly. How unreasonable can one teacher be?

September 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSherry

Nice work on the "poem". While I agree that some teachers will gladly make the transition from one computer to a computer for every student, but with many (if not most) teachers... I'm forced to wonder.

Here's the picture as I've often seen it throughout my career:

Give a student tech, and other students will want it, too.
But give that tech to teachers and many only want to spew.

Give a student tech, and learning's what they'll do.
With or without those teachers, yes, until their faces are blue.

On a separate note, I would love to have your input related to a recent flaw I've described in the NECC presentation proposal process.

September 25, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDarren Draper

Hi Darren,

Your poetry is far better than mine, although with a darker outlook.

I left a comment on your blog regarding the NECC proposal process. Working mine too here!

Thanks for the comment,

Doug

September 25, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Johnson

Doug,

You said "I always find it amazing (and even a little frustrating) that some teachers can't get enough technology in their classrooms and give their kids enough experiences using it, while other teachers still grumble at even having to use anything more complicated than an overhead projector. And I don't think it breaks down neatly along generational lines."

I think you just summed up the general idea behind my dissertation topic :D

September 25, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBrian B.

Nice poem! Enjoyed it.

Regina
http://theonlinelearninggames.blogspot.com/

October 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRegina

Love it! I'm going to share it with my teachers if you don't mind.

October 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJune Keuhn

Hello Doug,

My name is Amber T. and I am a Junior at the University of Guam majoring in Early Childhood / Elementary Education. I am currently enrolled in Audio and Visual Education and would love to use your 'Give a Teacher a Computer' in one of my presentations as an introduction. I will make sure that you are fully credited.

Please let me know of your thoughts on this.

Your response is appreciated.

Amber T.

Hi Amber,

All my work carries the Creative Common license - you are welcome to use it so long as credit is given any way you wish.

Good luck with your presentation!

Oh, you didn't give an email so I hope you read this.

Doug

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Johnson

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